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In your view, why does Waihi Beach flood?

over 6 years ago
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Consultation has concluded

  • Derek Mills over 6 years ago
    In my opinion, Waihi Beach has suffered from flooding issues, to some degree, from time immemorial. However, what used to be natural flood paths in pre-European times have been in-filled by developers without any regard to the consequences of such actions. These in-filled areas have caused extra water to be directed into man-made exits on to the beach, e.g. Two Mile Creek, and these do not have the capacity to deal with this extra water. It must be remembered that in pre-European times the only natural exit for water on to the beach was at the very top end of the beach and this handled the water from what we now know as the One Mile Creek and Darley's Creek catchment areas. All the rest of the water drained down to the Waiau River. Putting in four man-made exits and in-filling natural water storage areas has just exacerbated the problem as a whole. Another contributing factor is the area of hard surfaces that are now in place that don't allow the natural soakage of rain-water. Rains falls, and instead of a large proportion of it soaking in to the ground, it now falls on roofs and concrete surfaces and just runs off and tries to get to the sea.
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    • Chris over 6 years ago
      I Agree with Derek that Waihi Beach has experienced flooding from the very first day there was development there. The issue is the problem has never been rectified and in fact through ignorance of basic drainage principles it has been increasing year by year.
      1. Flood Plans have and still continue to be filled in or raised removing the ability to absorb a major portion of any storm event by natural storage. For example if the swamp behind the hotel was returned to it's original state, more water would seep out to sea below ground level than currently flows down two mile creek. But, this would mean the removal of much of the Council development around the Community Hall, School, and new sections on Edinburgh Street.
      2. Hard surfaces such as roads, driveways, houses have been built without any retention systems. A strict retroactive policy needs to be implemented here. One of the biggest contributors here is actually roads!!
      3. Water from a number of different catchment areas has been directed to the two mile creek catchment, reducing the issue for the areas that it has been diverted from but increasing the issue for the two mile creek area. For example the pipes installed to drain water from the Northern end of the Broadlands block when most of that water used to naturally exit at the northern end of the beach or slowly make its way through the swamp to the harbour. Or even more recently the new drainage system on Shaw Road ending in a poorly placed outlet in two mile creek that now deflects the creek flow into property banks.
      4. The swamp that ran between the dune frontage and foothills has been drained and developed but the stormwater that ran into that swamp has not been moved away from those developments properly. Two Mile and Three Mile Creeks are not an acceptable method to handle that stormwater as the beach system is not able to cope and has sustained substantial erosion from that stormwater. The only option is to mimic the original natural process and build an effective drainage system back to the harbour. With the development that has taken place this may mean that a number of diversions will be needed rather than one "grandiose" one.
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      • Otto Rd over 6 years ago
        I agree with Chris in that the flooding at Waihi Beach is man made..... the men at the Council. Since the sewer system was put in place in 2002 they have allowed infill housing and other developments, without a corresponding improvement to the storm water system. Areas that were once permeable are now impermeable resulting in faster runoff of rain water to the low lying areas. These reduced storage areas can no longer handle moderate to heavy rain falls. My property backs on to the Wilson Rd shops and the only solution now, it would appear, would be for Council to install a submersible storm water pump.
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  • Pete over 6 years ago
    Waihi Beach doesn't flood - small parts of Waihi Beach do. Development up on the hill has led to flooding at the bottom of the hill - the rest of Waihi Beach doesn't have a problem and shouldn't have to pay for any fix.
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    • Chris over 6 years ago
      I have to disagree with Pete's comment, the water always came down the hill. Yes, without the bush cover it may now come a little faster although all the modern developments have retention systems to slow this. The Problem is that the previous flood plans (swamp) have been drained and developed (houses built on them) without any thought to how flood event waters should be handled. Two and Three Mile creeks were built to simply drain the swamp not handle storm events.
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  • AGC over 6 years ago
    The flood of 2013 was a once in a 30 year storm. There were lots of factors that made it flood that night like a a high tide. For that amount of water to be drained away would need some pretty big pipes and then an area to take it all. Most of the flooding seems to be down the northern end of Waihi Beach and could be due to the new subdivisions above the RSA and even the one opposite the Pub where it has been built up. This was lower lying in there and would have taken a large chunk of the water in the past. Even if there are new pipes put in it still has to go somewhere and if it is high tide then what?
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  • Jenni over 6 years ago
    I believe this is due to increased severe weather (we seem to get one extreme or the other). This is a climate issue rather than an infrastructure issue or something the Council can solve. i.e. even if the council were to spend thousands or millions on stormwater improvements, if we have another storm like the 2013 one, there will still be flooding.
    I also think we need to recognise the the storm event of July 2013 was an extreme example (e.g. the 50 year flood?). The infrastructure we pay for should be able to cope with a bit more than the day to day (maybe a 10 year flood?) but be expected to cater to the rare extreme.
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  • apw over 6 years ago
    Keeping in mind that the 2013 weather was extreme I think that we still have to recognise that the addition of new subdivisions has taken away much of the natural drainage areas. These kind of catchment areas where water can sit and drain away naturally are hugely important and there removal can only lead to problems.
    The other thing that is worth noting is that the majority of the problems are in the areas that lie at the foot of the hills which points to the added run off that these areas must get also adds a little more to any other drainage problems there may be.. The further you go along Seaforth Rd the less devastating the damage is.
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  • mark szigetvary over 6 years ago
    Insufficient stormwater infrastructure especially in light of the volume of subdivisions following the provision of the sewerage system approx. 10 years ago and the development of the Maranui estate which discharges all of its run off directly down the hill the flats thereby overloading a stormwater system that is outdated and already at over capacity. Council has benefited from all the development contributions paid over the years for all these new properties, has not provisioned for sufficient stormwater as part of their consenting processes and must now fix the problem that they have allowed to develop to the point that it has.
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  • Admin Commented ProjectAdmin1 over 6 years ago
    Climate change affects us all and we all contribute indirectly by having our property insurance premiums increased with time as insurance companies pass on the cost to property owners.
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