Residents of a Whangārei suburb affected by sewage overflows are welcoming confirmed funding for further investigation and design into a wastewater upgrade for the area.
In August, the Northern Advocate reported the concerns of a number of Avenues residents around Kauika Rd about regular sewage overflows in their homes and on their properties, an issue highlighted by the Whangārei floods in July.
Following the inquiry, Whangārei District Council confirmed a roughly million-dollar upgrade into the suburb's sewage infrastructure was being seriously considered.
As of last week, approximately $70,000 of funding has been allocated as part of the 3 Waters Reform and Stimulus programme to investigate and create a design into the Kauika Rd wastewater upgrade project.
This added to the already commissioned work, expected to be completed by June next year, on two sections of sewer lines along Kauika Rd to prevent excess stormwater infiltration into the wastewater network - a key factor which worsened sewage backflow into people's properties.
"I'm happy that something is happening," Kauika Rd resident Doug Gow said.
"At the end of the day, I fear that with this stuff nothing happens. There has been a lot of complaints over the years and nothing's ever happened. Providing it fixes the problem, of course [it's good]."
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Fellow Kauika Rd resident Shelley Stringfellow echoed Gow's pleasure at the news but was also wary of the end result.
"At least that's a step forward...but I guess, it is just an investigation so long-term, is it still going to happen? If there's going to be a fix to the issue, if they've got a solution that's long-term then definitely it's good."
WDC waste and drainage manager Simon Charles said work had already been done in the area to determine whether a new wastewater pipe down First Avenue, considered to be a fix for the area's sewage backflow problem, was feasible.
Charles said the findings of that work are being reviewed.
Charles hoped a design for the new wastewater system would be done by June next year and provided the seven-figure funding for the project was confirmed, the new system could be functional by June 2022.
While he accepted the current stormwater infiltration work was not a long-term solution, Charles was hopeful Avenues residents would see progress in the coming years.
"It's obviously not going to solve all the problems, but hopefully within the next two years, we'll have the capacity to increase work completed."