Emergency services called to a single car crash on Mutu Street in Te Awamutu on Friday afternoon had a bit more to deal with than expected.

The initial report was that the car had ruptured a water pipe, but it turned out the driver had hit the Mutu Street bridge and an air valve on Council's sewer line — snapping a 40mm pipe fitting off the top of the sewer main.

As a result raw sewage gushed from the pipe onto the road, berm and crashed car.

Workers get up close to the the broken sewer pipe. Photo / Dean Taylor
Workers get up close to the the broken sewer pipe. Photo / Dean Taylor

Council advised there was a discharge into the Mangahoe Stream, but the environmental impact was minimal as the flow was limited by the size of the fitting.


Waikato Regional Council was notified immediately as per Waipā's emergency response plan.

Staff inspected the site and were happy with the response and control of the site.

Council's operations staff had the pumps turned off and discharge stopped within 30 minutes of being notified of the incident.

They have made a temporary repair by removing the damaged air valve and plugging the nipple on top of the sewer main.

The air valve will be replaced at a later date.

Yesterday a team from Council was also assessing the damage to the bridge.

Council will be looking at recouping the repair costs through the driver's insurance.