Designing stormwater infrastructure for a growing town
Popular with locals and tourists, Richmond is a small town in New Zealand’s South Island and services the farms, orchards and vineyards of the Waimea Plains.
Tasman District Council’s infrastructure strategy recognises that since 2015 the region’s population has grown significantly more than anticipated, and development in areas such as Richmond means current infrastructure capacity is stretched.
As its preferred technical consultant, the Council approached us to help design and supervise construction of a stormwater programme along Lower Queen Street, encompassing three projects to service existing and future residential and commercial developments.
We used computer modelling with real-world data and hydraulic calculations to design a stormwater system that ensures developments that sit only three to five metres above sea level will be safe, especially with projected sea level rise. We needed to ensure the bottom of the stormwater main pipe will be sufficiently high enough for the system to function at spring high tide but low enough to drain the low-lying, flat development area.
Another challenge was to provide adequate protection from heavy vehicles using the new development’s access road. Our solution was a reinforced concrete box culvert—significantly stronger than high-class concrete pipes.
Our system is designed to handle a one-in-twenty-year storm—in water flow terms that’s 3,800 litres per second.
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