Hamilton City Council and its contractors are working to contain and repair a wastewater issue on Normandy Avenue in Melville.
Following a week of heavy rain, a wastewater line collapsed on Wednesday morning which has resulted in ongoing wastewater overflows from several manholes in the area.
“Council recognises the significance and value of our waterways to our community, our partners, and tangata whenua,” said Eeva-Liisa Wright, General Manager Infrastructure Operations at Council.
“We take responsibility for managing the city’s water networks extremely seriously, and we’re in close communication with our iwi and mana whenua partners to ensure our response and plan to repair the issue is appropriate, while minimising any environmental and cultural impacts.”
Council is asking people in the Melville area to reduce their water use over the weekend, to minimise the volume of wastewater flowing into that part of the network.
“We know there are sites of significance close to the area of issue, and our Waikato-Tainui and mana whenua partners are working with us to formulate a plan that is considerate of those areas, including the streams and other bodies of water that flow into the awa (river),” said Wright.
“Despite efforts of staff and contractors working 24-hour shifts over several days, we have been unable to repair the issue; however additional resources have now been deployed to support the repair efforts.”
Vacuum trucks will continue to operate through both Saturday and Sunday (26 and 27 November) from 7am to 7pm to keep the affected areas as clear as possible.
Both eastbound lanes of Normandy Avenue – from the roundabout with Ohaupo Road State Highway 3 to Odette Avenue – will be closed from late afternoon Saturday 26 November and will likely stay closed until Monday evening while crews assess the cause of the issue and plan and complete the required repairs.
Council’s organisational partners in this space – including Waikato Regional Council – have been notified of the incident and are also working collaboratively to resolve the issue.
Council has a defined framework to respond and notify contamination discharges, after putting new processes in place following a separate incident in 2020. Council’s own investigation into the 2020 incident identified several areas for improvement, which has informed the response to the Normandy Avenue issue while assessments and repairs are being carried out.
“We would like to thank the community for their cooperation while we work to repair this issue,” said Wright.
“Thank you for your patience as we do all we safely can to resolve this situation.”