Springfield resident’s bid for water race assistance

NEED FOR CHANGE: Springfield resident Bruce Smith is calling for a water race running through his property to be redesigned to prevent flooding on his property.

The district council will investigate a Springfield resident’s suggestions to re-engineer the water race on his property to prevent further flooding.

Bruce Smith, who lives in Pococks Rd, made a deputation at the district council water-race sub-committee meeting suggesting two ways the water race could be redesigned.

It follows an event in late February when heavy rain caused the water race to overflow, resulting in flooding of the nearby area.

“It ran over my land . . . filling my garages to a depth of about 150mm as well as flooding my lower lawns on two sides of my house,” Dr Smith said.

He said the Springfield Volunteer Fire Brigade was called and it got in touch with a contractor who dredged the water race downstream from Tramway Rd.

Dr Smith says it’s the first time that “intensity” of flooding has occurred since moving into his house in 2011.

His first design suggestion involves the installation of a sidle weir, connected to a ditch to route excess water back to the Kowhai River.

The second is for the district council to build a low dam across the water race in a suitable area. The proposal would see the dam built with a “piped outlet at water race level.”

District council water services asset manager Murray England said staff will investigate Dr Smith’s comments and suggestions and report back at the next sub-committee meeting on November 12.

He said as with any significant weather event, it supports affected residents, if a weather event impacts their properties.

During his deputation, Dr Smith also asked for the district council to help pay for the repairs to his bridge. The bridge, which gives him access to the street from his property, is “rotting away.”

Dr Smith estimates purchasing new wood for the bridge and installing it would cost $4000.

“I do not accept I should be forced to make what is for me a considerable expenditure to maintain my bridge,” he said.

However, Mr England said the district council will not contribute towards the maintenance of the bridge as it is a private asset.

Dr Smith said the district council is taking the “legalistic way out, not the way of moral courage or of cooperative community.”