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Emergency overflow notification 10 January

Update Tuesday 17 January - The emergency valves were closed at 10am and the discharge has stopped.

There is more rain coming, the sewer system is running at 240% of normal flow, so it won’t take much rain to tip the sewer system back into overflow.

We advise no swimming, fishing or gathering shellfish in rivers and beaches for at least 5 days or when the temporary warning signs are removed from recreational sites.

Tuesday 10 January

Contractors are out dealing with sewer manholes bubbling under the pressure in the system. This is caused by a large volume of rainwater in the sewer network coming from properties as inflow from ponding and infiltration from high watertables.

Council 4 Waters Operation Manager Chris Hopman says the emergency valve at the Gladstone Road Bridge was opened to release the pressure at 8.30 am this morning. All affected parties have been notified.

“The Wainui Road pump station is at the highest level we’ve ever seen.

“We need to open the valves into waterways to avoid wastewater overflows into people’s homes from overflowing gully traps and through manholes on the street, which can cause health risks.”

Scour valves to the Taruheru River were opened at Fitzherbert St below the Peel St Bridge and at Oak St at 9.15am and 9.45 am respectively.

An emergency pump has been connected to the sewerage network at the Stout St and Sheehan St intersections to also discharge to the river.

With more rain still expected on already sodden ground, there will be a possibility of more overflows. Reports are manholes around the city are popping under pressure and pump stations are struggling to keep up.

Please stay off the roads if you can, surface flooding could contain wastewater.

We'll update this notice when the discharge has stopped.

We only open the valves when it’s absolutely necessary, here’s more information on DrainWise

If you have a sewer overflow on your property, please call us on 0800 653 800 or take photos or videos and send them to us at

If your toilet water level is high, don’t flush if you can. Avoid unnecessary water use in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry.