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Wellington Water apologises to council after series of breakages and spills

Wellington Water chief executive Colin Crampton says the organisation apologised to Wellington City Council during a 'please explain' meeting this afternoon.

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Another water main burst in Island Bay shortly after the apology. Source: 1 NEWS

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said he expects better of the organisation owned by councils in the Wellington region after a series of breakages and spills from the aging pipe system this summer.

Both the council and Wellington Water have agreed the organisation needs to have better communication with the public about issues and a greater focus on inspecting the pipe system.

A draft proposal for increased funding in the annual plan will be released next month, Mr Foster said.

Depending on funding decisions, both organisations are expecting to have the complete pipe network inspected in the next two to three years.

“We do invest, roughly speaking, a third of our budget in water. Some of that’s capital, some of that’s operating and we are already projecting to increase that amount fairly significantly over an extended period of time,” Mr Foster said.

“The question is whether we actually need to do anything immediate, and that’s exactly what we’ll be considering,” he said.

“Right now as we look forward to the next 30 years. Really important decisions have to be made around maintaining and updating our assets so we can keep delivering the services into the future,” Wellington Water chief executive Colin Crampton said.

Mr Crampton said the organisation won’t meet its target for not discharging wastewater into rivers, streams and harbours of Wellington because of the Dixon Street overflow into the harbour in December last year when an aging pipe broke.

“We minimised wastewater going into the harbour in Dixon Street and we prevented it completely in Moa Point. That is fantastic effort from all for the community,’ he said.

Just hours after today’s meeting, a water main burst in Wellington’s Island Bay, causing outages for up to 36 homes.