Sharing a laugh is an essential part of the team culture as the Dunedin Citycare Water staff provide continuous water supplies, stormwater drainage and wastewater treatment for the city’s residents and businesses through a 1,450-kilometre pipe network.
In response to COVID-19, Citycare Water Dunedin has adjusted operations with teams now travelling to site in separate vehicles and undertaking tasks in accordance with the government guidelines to ensure all staff are safe, Dunedin Operations Manager Michael Sebelin said.
“All teams know very well they are providing an essential service for the city. It’s an important job that they all take seriously. We all carry on with the job and get things done, but we love to have a laugh as well!” Michael said.
“The biggest challenge is to make sure we communicate effectively and well with all our staff,” he said.
“We have great systems in place and the most satisfying thing is going to a site and seeing all our people engaged and doing a great job for the community,” Michael said.
There are 35 field staff in Dunedin, split into a team of 10 people specialising in drainage and 25 who are in the water team.
“Drainage covers the stormwater and wastewater networks and is all about ensuring proper disposal of water. We work hard to ensure that all the pipes are working well to avoid flooding of publics spaces, streets, parks and private properties. It’s particularly important when people might be flushing a lot of wet wipes and other material,” Otago Region Three Waters Manager Tim Ure said.
Similarly, issues management and scheduled maintenance are key parts of the job for the water team as they monitor the water supply pipes and fix any leaks and bursts.
Dunedin’s water system serves around 130,000 people and includes 21,000 hectares of water catchment, six treatment stations, 35 pumping stations, and 57 reservoirs for raw and treated water.
The city’s water supply is sourced mainly from Deep Creek and Deep Stream, tributaries of the Taieri River. The Silverstream, Water of Leith catchment, Sawyers Bay and Port Chalmers catchments, Waikouaiti River and Waipori River supply outlying areas and supplement Dunedin’s supply when needed.
Citycare Water Dunedin Jet Operator Shane de Bruyn, Operations Manager Michael Sebelin and CCTV Operator Ben Moody.
Daniel Morris works underground in suburban Dunedin alongside Hydro Operator Logan Cullen and Operations Manager Michael Sebelin.
Wonder how water gets to small or rural communities that are further away from our urban clusters?
Figuring this out, and creating solutions that are accessible and sustainable, that’s the job of Citycare Water’s Small Waters team.
Staying calm when there’s a four-metre high geyser of water shooting into the sky is all part of a day’s work for Citycare Water crews working on reactive maintenance. There’s also a bit of detective work required when Citycare Water crews arrive at the site of a leak.