Council doing all it can to ensure Girls High can open
Gisborne District Council is doing every thing it can to ensure the problems that caused Gisborne Girls High School
(GGHS) to shut on Friday (3 August) are not repeated on Monday.
The school was closed because the toilets could not function. The pipe linking Desmond Road and the pump station at
Stanley Road was not draining as it should. Because the wastewater couldn’t get away fast enough, manholes were
surcharging or backing up. This caused pipes to become pressurised.
We have investigated a number of possible solutions to this problem, says Water Utilities Manager Kevin Strongman. “We
have checked and cleaned out the pipes between the school and the pump station. However, any improvements from this will
be minor. The pump station itself was also checked as well as the rising main (pressurised pipe from the pump station)
and all is working as it should.”
“There is nothing we can fix immediately that will make a significant difference to the school. We will be putting in a
temporary solution to ensure that the toilets will work on Monday and the school can open. This is likely to involve
blocking off wastewater flows from the school buildings and sucking the buildings clear of wastewater through a sucker
truck and or storage tank.
“Once we have settled weather and the high flows have receded finding a long term solution will be our priority. We will
also finish the cleaning and CCTV investigations of the pipes in the area. Depending on the weather this is likely to
start middle to late next week.”
“We understand that this is very frustrating for the school community. Since the last time this happened quite a bit of
work has been done cleaning out the pipes.”
“Material which could impede wastewater flow has been removed and CCTV has been used to check on faults, and the
condition of inflow points. Up to 40mm of sand and debris was cleaned out of one section of 225mm pipe just recently.”
“Regular checks of manholes in the area have indicated that this work has been successful even in wet weather and
improvements have been made. GGHS have also carried out some maintenance work on their systems which has helped.
“Unfortunately the continuous wet weather and saturated grounds we are currently experiencing have only exacerbated the
issues. We thought we were on top of the problem and were happy with progress. However this is not the case. We must
continue with maintenance work and investigations into possible solutions to avoid this happening in the future.