Taupō's main street Lake Terrace is due to be open to all traffic this week after three months of major infrastructure repairs.
The main road through Taupō town was closed after a water main burst on July 2, creating a pumice gully, in turn causing a concrete footpath to collapse, resulting in a wastewater pipe bursting. The chain of events resulted in an estimated 800,000l of wastewater and a vast volume of pumice and dirt to wash into the lake. A second smaller wastewater spill occurred on July 16.
Taupō District Council chief executive Gareth Green says there have been complex design challenges with the installation of more than 300 metres of water main pipes and new stormwater and sewer systems. He says as part of the process, a new 9-metre high retaining wall was built.
"We wouldn't have been able to achieve this without the help of the community. Thank you for your patience as we have worked to not only reinstate the road, but better future-proof the area."
Monitoring of lake water revealed that drinking water across the district was not affected, although downstream water intakes were shut down as a precaution. Regular water monitoring was carried out in the weeks after the spill, with the lakefront given a health clearance by Toi te Ora Public Health last month.
The Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board imposed a rahui over the affected part of Lake Taupō which has since been lifted.
Repair works to the ground, footpath and pipes were carried out over 12 weeks and traffic flows throughout town were disrupted. While carrying out repairs, the council also took the opportunity to future-proof infrastructure.
"Not only have we moved the sewer and water main further away from the lake, we have also installed a new stormwater separator that will help to remove more pollutants entering our stormwater," said Mr Green.
He said the council wanted to acknowledge the businesses who had been affected by the spill and road closure for their support and understanding.
"We have worked hard to get this area back up and running."
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