Protecting Canterbury’s “lifeline” infrastructure from the worst

EQC have released a report The Value of Lifeline Seismic Risk Mitigation in Christchurch. It is available in two versions: a Summary Report and a Full Report. They can be downloaded from here. Commissioned by EQC, the report identifies significant benefits from seismic strengthening and collaboration initiatives in Christchurch following a 1997 review, Risks and Realities. EQC have, over a number of years, funded a large amount of research into natural disasters, preparedness, and disaster recovery.  The extent, competence, and value of this part of their activities has been lost sight of in the last 18 months due the absence of such qualities in EQC’s bread and butter role. That 1997 review arose from work commenced in the early 1990s by the Christchurch Engineering Lifelines Group who had identified vulnerabilities in “lifelines” such as electricity and other parts of the city’s infrastructure.  Lifeline utilities are defined in the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Act 2002. From the Summary Report:

The substantial programme of seismic mitigation fostered by the Canterbury Lifeline Utilities Group and undertaken by Christchurch lifeline utilities over many years, served Christchurch well in reducing earthquake losses and facilitating emergency responses and recovery. The damage would have been greater and the response slower if the preparatory work fostered by the Group had not been undertaken.

In terms of ensuring Christchurch is well prepared for any future disaster it is a very useful document against which to assess the level of preparedness built into public and private sector development plans.

Major road works on Woodham Road

Major infrastructure work (sewer renewal) along Woodham Road will begin on Monday morning (14th) and is expected to finish within 4 months. The map below shows the extent of the work that will be done. The first phase starts at Tancred street and heads east. 

From the Infrastructure Rebuild website:

Full traffic management will be in place as detailed below.
  • This work will start Monday 14 November.  We will be working Monday to Friday between the hours of 7am to 5pm, and on Saturdays between the hours of 7am to 3pm. On rare occasions we may have to work on a Sunday to complete essential work.
  • We expect the work to take about four months to complete, subject to favourable weather and on-site conditions.
  • This first phase of works will commence between Gloucester Street and Tancred Street, and extend east to the Ngarimu Street / Woodham Road intersection. 
  • This work will impact on traffic movements.  The following traffic management will be in place:
    • One-way east-bound traffic will be maintained along Woodham Road throughout this phase of the works. Please take care when exiting your property to ensure you travel in the correct direction.
    • Between Gloucester Street and Tancred Street, the west-bound traffic lane along Woodham Road will be closed.  A detour route via Gloucester Street and Linwood Avenue will be sign posted.
    • When the work site is extended east to Ngarimu Street, west-bound traffic will be detoured via Worcester Street, Surrey Street, and Gloucester Street to Linwood Avenue.
    • Provision will be made for parking and access to the doctor’s surgery on the Gloucester Street / Woodham Road intersection.
    • On-street parking will not be available in the vicinity of the works to maintain a safe traffic lane.
    • Full signage will clearly indicate detours.

• An update notice explaining progress with the works towards Avonside Drive, and further traffic detours, will be circulated early in 2012.

 Full details are available on the Infrastructure Rebuild website here.

Ecological effects of sewage and silt in Christchurch's streams and rivers

Environment Canterbury has carried out a number of surveys and studies into the effects on streams and waterways of wastewater inflows and silt deposits, and have released reports on their findings.

ECan’s media release on the effects of untreated sewage being discharged into the lower parts of the Avon and Heathcote rivers and the estuary is here. According to ECan’s map (here), the lower Avon is the part of the river downstream from the Fitzgerald Avenue bridge.

Also available are the following reports:

  • Ecological effects of the Christchurch February earthquake on our city rivers
  • Ecological effects of the Christchurch February earthquake on our city estuary
  • Effects of wastewater overflows on oxygen and ammonia in the Avon and Heathcote rivers
  • Christchurch February Earthquake: Effect on aquatic invertebrates
  • Christchurch February Earthquake: Effect on freshwater fish of the upper Avon River
  • Christchurch February Earthquake: Effect on invertebrates of the lower rivers
  • Effects of seismic activity on inaka spawning grounds on city rivers
  • Mapping earthquake induced topographical change and liquefaction in the Avon-Heathcote Estuary
  • Effects of the Canterbury earthquakes on Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai ecology

The reports and map are here.

Earthquake Royal Commission – submissions added to the on-line document library

The Earthquake Royal Commission has been adding a number of institutional and personal submissions to its on-line document library in recent days.

Today submissions primarily cover aspects of seismicity and soils, with some on engineering. Two historical documents were also loaded.

The book Christchurch – Swamp to City – A Short History of the Christchurch Drainage Board 1875-1989 has been uploaded in PDF format. It contains the full text which is a detailed history of how the city’s storm water and sewage systems were developed. The PDF file contains all the maps including a copy of the “Back Maps”. It is here.

Also added is a copy of the booklet,  Drainage Scheme – Christchurch and the Suburbs, written by William Clark and published in 1878. The author paints an interesting picture of the damp and less than sanitary state of Christchurch at the time and describes how he thinks storm water and sewage should be disposed of. There is an amazing amount of technical detail. The last page is a plan of a water privy showing the arrangement for cleansing by waste water from an artesian well. You can find it here.