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Wastewater pipes still get blocked regardless of New Zealand being in Alert Level 4 or 3 and Citycare Water teams are on call 24/7.
In Auckland, Pumps Supervisor Graham Aoake’s team of seven staff are rostered to respond to any emergencies connected to the numerous wastewater pumping stations they monitor and maintain.
They look after 92 pumps across South Auckland, another 50 pumps in the Franklin area near Pukekohe, and a vacuum pump station in Kawakawa Bay with 144 vacuum control valves to maintain, Graham said.
“An emergency could be a power outage or a blockage. We respond to callouts 24/7 and ensure everything is up and running,” he said.
“For example, today we responded to a blockage at Pine Harbour – we lift the pumps, unblock, and put them back on.
“We have to minimise disruption and often we can fix a blockage issue within 30 minutes,” said Graham, who has been with Citycare for 16 years and has another nine years of experience with water pumping stations on top of that.
“I am very proud of my team – we get on well, we look after each other, and we are just really good at getting things done!
“We are still providing essential services, responding to emergencies and fixing issues, plus with the lockdown, we are able to spend more time with our families and build our communities stronger. We need to take advantage of it,” Graham said.
The Pumps Team in action
The Pumps Team in Action
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When Christchurch residents report an issue with their water, various Citycare Water teams step in to ensure the problem is repaired in a timely way.
Thousands of residents report water reticulation problems in Christchurch each month and prioritising the fixes is a continuous exemplar of collaboration between the council and Citycare Water.