Our stormwater network moves rainwater out of the city to prevent flooding. Napier is mostly flat so we have pumping stations that push the water through a series of channels, sumps, underground pipes and urban waterways out to sea. When it rains, the majority of the city’s stormwater is carried to Te Whanganui-a-Orotū (the Ahuriri Estuary) and the rest is carried to the Pacific Ocean along Marine Parade, Hardinge Road, and Westshore. Households, businesses and industries all discharge stormwater into the network. The stormwater isn’t treated before it hits our marine environment. Problems occur when contaminants such as plastics, road and roof run-off and chemicals tipped down drains all enter our urban stormwater system.
A combination of urban stormwater and water coming in from rural areas has led to poor water quality, impacting the ecology and wildlife in and around the estuary over a number of decades.
The Ahuriri Estuary is a place of great significance and is valued by everyone. We can do better to protect this special place. In 2018, we developed the Ahuriri Estuary and Coastal Edge Masterplan that is guiding our work in this area. We’re teaming up with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) and mana whenua to restore the mauri life-force of the estuary. We each have projects that we have been working on and some we’re doing together. For us these have largely been around replacements and upgrades to parts of our stormwater network, improving the state of open waterways, more testing and monitoring, and the strengthening and enforcement of our bylaws that prevent pollutants entering our network.
These projects include:
We are in the final year of a three-year project investigating the current stormwater system and identifying options for the design of a future stormwater network – making sure the solutions we come up with will work. (Project 1 – Ahuriri and Coastal Edge Masterplan)
We plan to create a wetland system adjacent to the Hawke’s Bay Expressway to ‘polish’ the stormwater before it enters the estuary. (Project 1A– Ahuriri and Coastal Edge Masterplan)
We will begin treating the water at individual outfalls that flow directly into the estuary or coast. (Project 1C– Ahuriri and Coastal Edge Masterplan)
We’ll establish planting to capture stormwater and filter out contaminants before water is discharged into the estuary. (Project 10 – Ahuriri and Coastal Edge Masterplan)
This channel will move water from the city much faster, to an existing area by Lagoon Farm where it can drain gradually into the estuary, reducing flooding
With HBRC, we have also run an education campaign in an effort to get everyone in the community working to reduce stormwater pollution. Now we want to bring our work together and add to it to create the Ahuriri Regional Park. For more details see Ahuriri Regional Park.
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