The operation to repair and clear debris from a damaged Rotorua pump station continues with specialist crews called in and eastside residents urged to continue conserving water.
A collapsed wastewater main a week ago led to debris and silt getting into the Hona Rd pump station, with heavy rain late last week hampering repair work.
Residents and businesses in eastern suburbs were asked by the Rotorua Lakes Council to keep water use to a minimum.
The council, in a statement today, said divers worked last night to clear the silt from the bottom of the pump station to enable the pumps to operate without risk of blockage.
Infrastructure group manager Stavros Michael said work overnight wasn't as successful as they hoped but they did gain more valuable insights.
"We had all the crews on-site overnight when the wastewater flows into the station would be at their lowest. These are specialists that actually dive to the bottom of the pump station in order to clear it.
"While it wasn't as successful as we hoped, we did gain more valuable insights on the actual condition of the system and we are investigating further options for repairs.
"We are hoping to carry out the work during the day this week so disruption to the neighbourhood will be reduced as much as possible," he said.
Michael said residents in the area had been very patient and understanding and the council was thankful for that and the efforts of the wider eastside community in keeping household wastewater flows to a minimum.
"The quick initial response and the efforts to date have meant we've avoided any wastewater overflows."
The council said the wastewater main now had a temporary fix in place and the focus was on clearing all the silt and sediment from the pump station to get things back to full flow capacity.
Temporary pumps were in place to manage the flow of wastewater while the pump station was out of action. In effect, a pump station bypass was in place.
"The important thing now is that residents and businesses on the eastside continue to be mindful of water use to keep flows to a manageable level during the next few days," Michael said.
"We've also put out a call to ask that people avoid flushing wet wipes. Flushing wet wipes is always a 'no no' but we especially ask that people are mindful of that rule now while the temporary fix is in place.
"Wet wipes cause blockages in the wastewater network and can cause damage to the temporary bypass solution that's in place."
Staff had been in direct contact with neighbours in Hona Rd.
How to help
• Avoid or reduce any non-essential water use including showers, laundry, flushing the toilet, dishwashers
• Essentials are okay – brushing teeth, washing hands, flushing the toilet when necessary etc
• Keep an eye on council's website and social media for updates
• Share with people you know in the eastside community so they can help too