How Does Hydro Excavation Work?

We offer Hydro excavation services, for cost or a quote, please give us a call. 

There are times when it’s virtually impossible to dig around underground assets such as water pipes, telecommunication cables and gas pipelines. Without a detailed map of your underground assets, you might end up dealing with costly damages. Hence, instead of using traditional techniques in excavation, it’s highly advisable to use hydro evacuation. It’s a fast, risk-free and effective digging method that can be used for both commercial and residential customers.

Drainage NZ offer Hydro Excavation Services

A brief introduction into hydro excavation

Hydrovacing or hydro evacuation was first introduced back in the 1880s when miners needed to utilise pump pressurized water to wash away debris and even large land masses. This technique allows for faster and more convenient way of capturing gold plus other minerals from the ores.

Fast forward to 1969, a more sophisticated tool was invented, which they referred to as ExcaVactor. A decade after, companies offering pipe excavation services started using sewer cleaners and vacuum trucks to conduct the hydro evacuation procedure. In some companies, it’s offered alongside solutions such as the sucker truck and unblocking services.

It’s a technique used in a lot of applications. Be it a residential property or a large commercial building, hydrovacing can come extra handy in excavating debris, removing damaged pipes and more.

What happens during a hydro


Instead of digging the old-school way, hydro evacuation involves the use of pressurized water. Water is injected into the ground until the soil appear like a slurry mixture. Then, the workers need to feed the liquefied soil into the pipes of a sucker truck. The powerful vacuuming tool is strong enough to remove around 70 feet of liquefied soil.

The best part about this process is it works for any type of soil. Be it a loose garden soil, a mixture of silt and clay or even frozen ground, you can have your pipes or other underground assets dug up safe and fast.

What are the benefits of hydro evacuation?

Choosing hydro evacuation over the old digging method can help you solve all kinds of problems without risking infrastructure damage. It also provides you with a safer way for you to uncover defective underground assets. On top of that, it offers a lot of perks including:

  • Reducing cave ins resulting from the disruption of the surrounding soil
  • Faster completion of your excavation project
  • No need to use additional equipment because only water, air and sucker truck is required
  • Zero to minimal damage to pipes or other underground assets
  • Does not require additional workforce to remove soil underneath the excavation site
  • Works for a variety of soil types including permafrost
  • Can be used in hard to access locations because truck can be positioned at most 100 feet away from the site

Applications of hydro evacuation

There are many ways you can maximize the use of hydrovac. Here are some of its most common applications in both residential and commercial properties:

  • Excavation of tight spaces – Sometimes property owners have a hard time excavating because of their cramped space. Good thing, tight spaces are not an issue when hydro evacuation is used. The equipment can be placed in a distant area during the service so the workers have enough space to work on.
  • Removal of debris – Dealing with debris stuck in pipes and manholes can be quite a nightmare. With hydrovac, you get to remove debris before they even get stuck inside the drain or pipes.
  • Excavation during cold season – Working during the cold seasons comes with a lot of health hazards. However, sometimes issues such as frozen or burst pipes just happen. Thankfully, you have a better and more hassle-free option to dig up your damaged pipes. Hydrovac works seamlessly even with completely frozen soil.
  • Slot trenching – Widen trenches safely and quickly with hydrovacing. It will help you find utility lines more conveniently and safely if you use pressurized water to dig and widen trenches.
  • Potholing – Need to check underground facilities? You can do so without risking the integrity of the building’s structure. Hydro evacuation eliminates risks and allows you to work in congested areas.
  • Setting of poles – If you need to some pole drilling work done, booking a hydrovac service will also come extra handy. Hydro evacuation is the most highly recommended method to use in setting poles.
  • Utility and pipeline crossing – Working in an area with many pipes and utility crossing is a tricky process. One wrong move can result in very expensive repairs. This why it’s better to make use of hydrovac. It’s a simple yet sophisticated technique that help you move forward with work at a faster pace.

Hydrovacing is perhaps one of the most efficient methods used to excavate materials today. It’s works fast so you’re sure to get your project done within your projected time frame. The service is also made cost-effective so you enjoy more value for your money. Call today for your hydro evacuation needs.

Unblocking A Stubborn Drain – How Experts Deal with Clogged Pipes

Dealing with blocked drainage can be very cumbersome. However, it’s important to get it done as soon as possible to avoid paying for expensive repairs. With a clogged sewer line, waste water can’t flow down the line drain. Instead, the water flows back into the pipes inside a house or a commercial building. For many people, this means trouble, especially when the waste water starts damaging the property and leaving an undesirable scent.

Causes of a clogged drainage

Clogged drain pipes are perhaps one of the most common issues faced by many property owners. And there are plenty of reasons why this happens. Here are some of the common causes of a blocked drain:

  • Hardened grease, oil, fats and decaying food particles
  • Chemical buildup from bathroom products such as toothpaste, soap, and shampoo.
  • Flushed toilet paper, paper towels, wet wipes and sanitary napkins/tampons
  • Soil or construction debris during a home renovation project
  • Deteriorating plants or leaves during autumn
  • Offset drain pipes, especially in old properties
  • Mineral buildup inside the pipes because of hard water

Signs your drain is blocked

It’s not easy to figure out when a drain pipe gets blocked, mostly because the system is underground. Most of the time, people don’t even know that they have blocked drainage until the damage is beyond repair. Thankfully, there are some key telltale signs that your drain is blocked:

  • Unpleasant smell coming from the drain – One of the most obvious signs that you have a clogged drain pipe is foul sewage odour. Organic matter breakdown releases unpleasant smelling gases such as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and nitrogen.
  • Toilet won’t flush or the water level is too high – You know there’s something wrong with the drain pipes when the water in the toilet bowl looks abnormally high.
  • You hear a gurgling sound from the pipe – A gurgling noise coming from the plug hole, drain and toilet bowl can also denote that there is a buildup of grease, dirt or other material in the drain.
  • Water keeps on backing up to your tub, sink and shower –
  • Water on the kitchen, laundry or bathroom floor –

Dealing with a clogged drain

If you see any of the signs enumerated above, you need to act fast. It might be worth it to use DIY remedies to unclog the pipes, especially when the problem is not that serious. After all, who doesn’t want to save a few dollars on a survey.

However, most of the time, it’s more practical to call in a drain unblocking professional. It saves you time and money, plus you don’t need to figure out your problems on your own. With the help of a trained plumber, you get to the bottom of the issue fast and you prevent other expensive problems to arise.

Here are some of the ways that experts use to unblock drain pipes:

  • Mechanical unblocking – The standard process to deal with a blocked drain involves the use of equipment such as motorised drain snake. The service charge starts at $295.
  • Camera inspection – There are some instances where plumbers need to use a camera to inspect drain. With CCTV drain survey, plumbers get to identify what is blocking the drain.

Hydro blasting – Hydro- jetting or hydro blasting is a technique used to clean or clear out surfaces or pipes. It involves the use of highly-pressurized water to dislodge materials.

For severe cases, you may need to avail additional services such as pipe excavation. The process involves the removal and replacement of the blocked pipes. The service can cost around $229 if its a basic dig up and replace.  

Besides dealing with the blockage, you should also consider having your pipes cleaned on a regular basis. You can book a sucker truck service for $207 so you can get rid of organic matter accumulating inside the drain pipes.

You can also install sediment water filter cartridge to minimise the amount of soil, rocks, and silt accumulating in the drain.

Lastly, if you make use of an underground grease trap, see to it that you have it cleaned every once in a while. Without a clean grease trap, more fat, oil and grease or FOG end up in the drain. And overtime, they accumulate and cause plumbing mishaps aka blockaghes. 

How to prevent clogging of drain pipes

Clogged drains are quite annoying but at the same time, preventable. After a plumber restore it to good condition, your next priority is to keep it that way for a long time. It will help you avoid trouble plus paying for additional or follow up services. Here are the simplest and most practical ways you can keep your drain clear:

  • Never dump leftover food in the sink
  • Allow liquid grease to cool and have them disposed properly
  • Do not pour fat or oil in the kitchen sink
  • If the main line supplies hard water, use a water softener to prevent material buildup
  • Utilise hair catcher on the drain to prevent hair from getting into the pipes

Book a drain unclogging service today!

Notice signs that your drain is blocked by material buildup? Have your drain pipe inspected fast! Find out what’s causing the issue so that you know the best approach to use with the help of Drainage NZ. Failure to unclog your drain on time can cause all sorts of issues that can cause long-term and expensive damage to your property. Start mitigating the issue today!

Permanent Leaky Basement and Flooding Solutions

If you are experiencing one of the following issues:

  • Flooding Basement area
  • Water under house
  • Flooding driveways
  • Blocked stormwater drains
  • Boggy Lawns
  • Subsoil drainage problems
  • Excessive water accumulation

Then you need to think about a permanent long term solution if you care about the property. Whether you intend to sell or keep Long term solutions mean more value and more safety for the occupants and/or owners.

Drainage NZ have been doing subsoil drainage and providing flooding solutions for over 20 years! Our solutions are cost effective and you only pay once to have the problem solved first time.

Some recent flooding issues Drainage NZ has resolved

A drainage solution is not just finding someone that can dig a hole and throw a punched Nova coil into the ground. There needs to be an understanding of physics and a plan needs to be engineered which is closely linked to the issues you are facing.

Subsoil Drainage Solutions

Drainage NZ have been involved in 100s of subsoil drainage solutions around the larger Auckland area. We have done everything from engineering soak holes to providing unique thrusted and/or drilled solutions for home and business owners that assumed no solution existed.

In Auckland you will find several extreme ground conditions. Whilst in Mt Wellington you may have volcanic ground, in West Auckland or on the North Shore you will find many areas are meters deep in clay that offers zero ground percolation. Where the one offers plenty of soakage the other will offer none but both have one thing in common requiring an engineered methodology to tackle the different forms of flooding that are affecting properties.

Our solutions also include many properties that are affected by no available public storm water networks requiring self-management of roof and surface water.

Consents and Plans

If and when design and consent are (e.g in some instances pumped solutions) required Drainage NZ take care of everything. We have designers in-house that work closely with our field technicians to achieve your desired scope successfully.

Here some subsoil drainage jobs Drainage NZ have completed recently.

Location: West Auckland
Problem: Basement flooding (water leaking into room below ground and garage areas)
Depth: 1.6 meters Length: 26 meters
Scope: Excavation, waterproofing, drainage works. Reinstatement and landscaping and concrete works.
Outfall: Existing Private SW to Public Stormwater

Location: Central Auckland (Mt Wellington)
Problem: Excessive Flooding into house areas below external outside area.
Depth: 1.5 meters Length: 15 meters
Scope: Rock breaking, Excavation, waterproofing, drainage works
Outfall: Existing Onehunga Soakhole

Location: North Shore
Problem: House piling flooding. Incorrect onsite levels introduce excessive water to areas under house resulting in piling slipping, cracked walls and framing in upper levels. 
Depth: 1.2 meters to point of discharge. 
Scope: Excavation of clay, leveling ground, waterproofing, drainage works
Outfall: Existing Private Soak hole

What Is the Difference Between Sewage and Sewerage?


In our day-to-day lives, all of us normally wake up fresh out of bed, brush our teeth, take a bath, eat our breakfast, wash the dishes, water our plants, and so much more. Well, have you ever noticed that most of what we do every day requires the use of water?

Are you aware of the fact that every time you turn on the faucet, the water you most likely use will go down the drain to somewhere most of us don’t even know anything about? We just wash our hands, look at the water drain, and turn it off.

How Drainage Works

The process of draining water is way more complicated than you think. The water runs down a hole, into small house pipes, into bigger council pipes, for many kilometers to then arrive at its destination.

In most cases, not everyone knows the difference between sewage and sewerage. Is it the same thing or two completely different things. Today, we are going to look at what those two words really mean, as a learning matter and something that may benefit anyone searching for a definition.

What Is Sewage (the poo)?

Before the 20th century, sewage was usually discharged into a body of water such as a stream, river, lake, bay, or ocean. There was no treatment, so the breakdown of the human waste was left to the ecosystem. Now, the word “sewage” refers to liquids or waste matter usually carried off by sewers.

In the modern world, the word sewage is slowly being replaced by the word “waste water,” also meaning that any water that has been affected by human use, making these two words similar in the way that in the end, we humans produce waste that is to be carried out by any means of transportation, such as sinks, tubs, showers, dishwashers, clothes washers, toilets, pipes, etc.

It can be also referred to as domestic wastewater or municipal wastewater that is produced by a community of people. It is characterized by volume or rate of flow, physical condition, chemical and toxic constituents, and its bacteriologic status.

Sewage usually travels from a building’s plumbing either into a sewer, which will carry it elsewhere, or into an onsite sewage facility. Whether it is combined with surface runoff in the sewer depends on the sewer design.

The reality is that most wastewater produced globally remains untreated causing widespread water pollution, especially in low-income countries. As well as many developing countries the bulk of domestic and industrial wastewater is discharged without any treatment or after primary treatment. It may not seem like it, whether or not these are good for the environment or not, but once you see the fuller picture of how much the sewage actually helps us in our day to day lives, it makes a huge difference.

What Is Sewerage (what carries the poo)?

On the other hand, the word “sewerage” refers to the provision of drainage by sewers. Sewerage is an infrastructure that transports sewage, like storm water, meltwater, rainwater, by using sewers. It encompasses components such as receiving drains, manholes, pumping stations, storm overflows, and screening chambers of the combined sewer or sanitary sewer.

Sewerage opens an entry to a sewage treatment plant or at the nearest point of discharge into the environment. It is a system of pipes, chambers, manholes, etc. that holds the sewage from the waste makers above.

In American colloquial English, “sewer system” is applied more frequently to the large infrastructure of sewers that British speakers more often refer to as “sewerage”. Almost all the countries of the world have sewerages, but this does not mean that they are the best of ones.

Countries like New Zealand, Venice, and Amsterdam have a great sewerage, and on the spectrum, we also have countries like Bangladesh, India, and other third world countries that need help in making better sewerage’s for their citizens.


To sum things up, these two work hand in hand. One cannot work without the other and vice versa. A sewage is a part of a sewerage and a sewerage is a part of a sewage.

The simplest way to explain the two different words is this – sewage is the waste that is produced by people while sewerage is the structure that holds the sewage within its “stomach.” In the end, it is only us humans and the rain that uses these systems, and we need to make sure that these two things will be used correctly in our lives, making sure to clean the area properly, separating water-type waste and solid-type waste, so that it – the waste water – would be easier to recycle.

At Drainage NZ, we help you with your sewer and sewerage needs. We have over 20 years of drainage experience! We are experienced, qualified, and have all the toys to do anything that relates to drainage in New Zealand.

What Is Butt Welding and How Can It be Used Effectively?

There are several ways to attach two metal pipes together.  To choose which one to use, you must decide based on what is best or needed for the job at hand therefore it is vital to understand each method.  These methods are:

  • Threaded
  • Stab-type Fittings
  • Soldered
  • Brazed
  • Welded – Which has two types, namely : Butt Weld and Socket Weld
  • Saddle Fusion

Among these, Butt Welding is the most common of pipe welding joining methods.  This is commonly used for pipes which generally shares the same diameter.  This method is also most popularly used in commercial and industrial pipe systems. 

What Is Butt Welding?

Butt welding is when two pieces of metal pipes are joined together within the same plane.  This method requires some preparation and is used mostly for thin metal sheets, which need to be welded in a single pass.  This technique can be automated or it can be pieced together by hand on to the steel pieces.  Brazing can also be done under this method for copper pieces.  This method is used to attach two metal pieces such as pipes, framework in factories, and in flanges as well.

The butt-welding method is the preferred type for commercial purposes since it is more economical, as well as providing a strong fusion of the two metal pieces.  Also, it uses the least amount of welding materials and at the same time giving out a strong weld.  The automated butt weld process is the more favored process because of its ease of preparation and there is a low chance of adjustments in cases of non-ideal joint preparation because of the absence of human guidance.  It is expected that butt welds have the strongest welds with the least amount of imperfections. 

How Can Butt Welding be Used Effectively?

Butt welding is used when directional drilling so as to avoid joiners from sticking out thus making the thrust difficult.  A smooth flush finish outside the pipe is needed to enable the thrusted pipe to be pushed through without getting stuck.  Also this method does not need the metal piece to be welded together by having to bend everything and reinforce the structure which can then cost more than just welding two metal pieces together through this method. 

This method works best with MIG or TIG welding applications because of its ability to connect two metal pipes.  This method can be done by pressing the ends of the material together while a current is passing through them.  The temperature between the materials is high which softens the metal into a plastic-like state which them makes it fuse together.  When using this technique, it should also be noted that the diameter and thickness of the pipes and fittings should be equal as well as the material used. 

Advantages of Butt Welding

There are several advantages of butt welding among these are:

  1. It assures of its permanent leak proof quality and strength. 
  2. Having a continuous steel structure between the pipes and fittings gives the piping system better strength.
  3. The pipe fittings when used using this method gives out a smooth surface and a gradual directional changes thus making it decrease the pressure losses, the turbulence of the system and protecting it from corrosion and erosion.
  4. This method is more economical, which does not hurt the budget.
  5. Butt welding joints also offer smaller space in the system. 
  6. A weld can be made using this method in a wide range of sizes and complex shapes although both ends should be equally matching. 
  7. This can be used in a wide range of materials such as steels, stainless steel, aluminum alloys, nickel alloys or titanium. 
  8. Solidification cracking and porosity is usually not an issue.
  9. The butt welding process can be automatic or semi-automatic and monitoring of the welding process can already indicate the quality of the work.

How Can Drainage NZ Help?

Drainage NZ’s over 20 years of experience in this field can provide services together with their qualified drain layers. The team is certified, qualified, and registered, therefore, assuring clients that only the best services are offered with the highest of standards and in compliance with NZBC standards. 

Services include all aspects of drainage, such as driveway cesspits and channels, drain repairs, and drain unblocking in both residential and commercial drainage work.  Aside from these, the company is also offering its services in general plumbing and gas fitting works. 

Drainage NZ offers services in directional drilling works.  Their services include water distribution piping, fire protection lines, sanitary sewer piping, storm sewer drainage piping, gas distribution piping, landfill applications, irrigation applications, and electrical/telecommunications. 

There are also several reasons why horizontal directional drilling is used. One of the reasons is that there is lesser traffic disruption.  It also offers lower costs since there is no labor or concrete reinstating.  There is also a possibility for deeper installation, long installation is possible, job can be completed for a short period of time and lastly, it is safer for the environment.

For more information, just visit our website.

Test your house and basement areas for moisture.

Moisture issues can be a drag, especially if you’re just starting out in your new home. Usually, moisture problems are solved with the right foundations and wall treatment with the appropriate drainage system. If you need Auckland moisture testing, then you’ve come to the right place. We have our own specialized tools to test for moisture. Plus, we provide solutions that last a lifetime, not just for a few years.

Moisture testing can be tricky. You can Do-It-Youself (DIY) or hire experts to do it for you. Keep in mind that going down the DIY route may cause more harm than good if you’re not familiar with the task at hand.

These are the things we do during Moisture Testing in Auckland:

  • Pre-home-purchase survey home moisture testing,
  • Damp basement moisture tests,
  • Leaky home building testing, and
  • Post flood drying test.

Protect Your Family’s Health and Safety

Building moisture in any home or building is almost always at the top of the list of the most common problems uncovered during home inspections for buyers. Building moisture, especially in the basement and attic, is usually overlooked during home moisture testing. If you have moisture problems in your home, then you need to find an expert in home moisture testing.

Usually after flooding in an area, people tend to think that the surface looks and feels dry; hence, it must be dry. This is so far from the truth. Floodwater tends to get into everything – skirting board, wall cavities, jib, dry carpet, and flooring.

Even though the surfaces look dry and can be dried using dehumidifiers or fans, more often than not, there are moisture problems in these areas.

The truth of the matter is, the real problem is the hidden moisture, which can’t always be visible to the naked eye. Left unchecked, this will cause mold to grown in areas that you can’t see, which will cause damage to your house leaving rotting areas, long term mold, and unpleasant smells in your home. You will need the help of experts to dry your carpet, walls, and cavities.

Mould Testing and Removal

Excessive moisture in your house can lead to inconvenient and unwanted problems such as rotted framing, odors, foundation movement, structural pests, as well as allergy causing molds. In fact, some molds may cause cancer so you need to take this problem seriously.

Mold Moisture Test

Mold tends to grow in areas where it has food and water, which are usually found in buildings. The mold growth reveals the excess home moisture, which may be caused by leaking water pipes, flooding, and other building materials.

Mould Release Toxins Resulting In Health Effects, Including:

  • Allergies,
  • Asthma and Other Breathing Disorders,
  • Eye, Nose, and Sore Throat,
  • Skin Problems,
  • Fatigue, and
  • Headache

Moisture Meter Probe Tests

Moisture probes and no evasive moisture meters are effective for testing inside the building material or structure.

Here are 7 steps to manually check the moisture problem in your house:

1. Carefully check the wall surface.

Look for discoloration in the surface, including yellowing material or rounded brown spots. Also, black discolorations that are often furry will indicate mold and mildew growths. Check also the wall texture for peeling paint, warping, or buckling surfaces.

2. Slightly push on the wall to check how it feels.

Drywall that’s moisture damaged will feel soft and spongy. Meanwhile, wood-sheathed walls might feel a bit solid, even if there’s a moisture problem. You can use a butter knife or screwdriver to scrape across the surface or poke into the wall to reveal damaged wood.

3. Smell-test the wall for moisture.

Wet wall interiors are the favorite environment for mildew and mold to grow. It’s dark and moist, with lots of food available for the fungus. The more moisture there is in your walls, the faster the mold grows, leading to wood rot. Musty smelling walls are sure sign of moisture problem. Get your nose closer to the wall interior by removing the faceplate from a wall outlet, which helps you discover the problem faster.

4. Drill holes into the wall.

You will need to drill two small holes, about 3/16 inches in diameter and about 1 inch apart, into the wall. You can work from the house interior or exterior both methods work. Outside, drill a hole that’s deep enough to pass through the siding without drilling into the exterior wall sheathing. Once inside, drill through the wall, past the vapor barrier and into the insulation.

5. Insert the probes from a probe moisture meter into the bored holes.

Turn the meter on.Then, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and read the moisture content display. You will need to adjust the probes to get a steady reading and accurate results. Take several readings, for instance, 3 readings in 30 minutes.

6. Compare the reading to ideal moisture levels.

Zero moisture is not practical or even realistic. Any wood that’s been used to frame a house should have a certain amount of moisture. Normal readings should measure around 7 to 13 percent moisture. In fact, slightly higher readings may be normal for your house. However,extremely high readings need immediate attention.

7. Fill the test holes if moisture levels are normal inside your wall.

Following the test, if visual and mechanical readings indicate normal moisture levels within your wall, fill the test holes. Then squirt colored or clear silicone caulk into the hole from outside to fill it and make it waterproof. Use wood putty or spackling compound and drywall tape to cover hopes inside the house. However, if your moisture test is positive, you need to tear off the wall sheathing to repair the wall interior, as needed.

You can do these steps yourself in a DIY manner. However, if you want professional Auckland moisture testing for basement flooding in your house or building, call us and we’ll send you a quote right away. We have our own specialized tools to test for moisture and provide solutions that last a lifetime. Book an Auckland moisture testing with us today.

We Build Rock Walls and Provide Concrete Services

Drainage NZ have been providing residential and commercial drainage services for over a decade successfully. Drainage works more than often require concrete cutting, driveway removal, and demolishing of existing landscape, including retaining walls.

Once all drainage works are complete, these areas need to be reinstated. What’s even more important is that reinstatement should complement the newly installed drainage system.

Whether it’s a new subsoil installation or a repair or replacement of storm water and sewer lines, these reinstatement and landscaping works need to be done correctly. This got us thinking!

Since we have all the expertise, machinery and manpower, we can offer our customers these services directly. We save you thousands of dollars and ensure a third-party contractor does not undermine the new drainage system.

As such, we have already started providing these services to dozens of clients to this extent and they extremely satisfied with the result! We officially offer the following service to New or Existing clients:

Volcanic Rock Walls

Also known as Lava Rock Walls, Volcanic Rock Walls are walls built from volcanic rocks. There are many ways to build volcanic rock walls. Many contractors use bigger rocks at the bottom and pile smaller rocks on top while others prefer to layer smaller rocks at the bottom and build the wall using bigger volcanic rocks on top.

These volcanic rock walls are lovely to look at and provide a wonderful backdrop for gardens and swimming pools. They are pleasing to the eyes and unique in their own rights. You will need access to lava rocks in order to build one.

You can use volcanic rock walls for your house. They offer a beautiful alternative to old-fashioned cement and concrete. Some people build desert houses using lava rock as their foundation.

Volcanic rock walls are gaining popularity in mainstream architecture as they provide a wonderful alternative to boring old walls.

If you’re thinking about building volcanic rock walls, there are a myriad of options found online that you can use for your construction plans. I suggest you explore those options first before you start building your lava rock walls. Better yet, call us and we will build your volcanic rock walls for you at an affordable price.

Concrete Driveways (Exposed Aggregate, Polished or Brushed Finished)

Concrete Driveways are a favorite of both professional installers and homeowners alike. Concrete slabs are durable and strong and they require little to no maintenance. They last longer than other materials, which is why most people choose to build concrete driveways in their homes and offices.

Concrete is more expensive than asphalt and gravel – although it is definitely cheaper than using cobblestone, brick, or concrete pavers. Concrete outlasts these other materials, making it the more practical choice if you want longevity and cost cutting in the long run.

You have three choices for concrete use: exposed aggregate, polished, or brushed finished.

Also known as decorative concrete, exposed aggregate concrete uses natural stones from quarries and riverbeds that are hand-seeded into a concrete base. It’s durability and classy look makes exposed aggregate concrete the perfect choice for patios, pool decks, walkways, driveways, commercial entryways, etc.

Polished concrete is processed using a series of mechanically ground polishing or grinding steps similar to terrazzo production. Polished concrete is an eco-friendly, “green” flooring system that’s LEED approved.

Brushed finished concrete is a type of finish that is in contrast to finished concrete, which has a smooth finish. Although smooth finished concrete is standard, more and more builders now go for the brushed finished concrete finish.

Whichever you choose, we can do it for you.

Concrete Cutting and Removal

Concrete cutting and removal requires that the area is cleared of debris and other objects that may hinder movement of the people involved. Items that may be damaged by dust or concrete fragments need to be covered with protective sacks or mats.

You can cut and remove concrete yourself using a sledgehammer. However, you will need to be very careful as accidents may occur using power tools. You need to break down the concrete into smaller parts to be able to remove it. You also need to cut away steel reinforcements. After that, you will need to remove and dispose of the concrete that you have unearthed.

Cutting and removing concrete may require professional help as you need someone who knows how to handle the power tools needed to cut and remove said concrete. You will need to hire an expert to do this for you.

We provide this service for you at a low cost. We will cut and remove any concrete material that you wish to eliminate from your premises.

Paving and Soakage Capable Landscaping (To Accommodate Subsoil Drainage)

Pavements are outdoor floor or superficial surface covering. Paving materials include concrete, asphalt, stones like cobblestones, flagstone, and artificial stone, tiles, or bricks.

Landscape architecture categorizes pavements as part of the hardscape used on patios, road surfaces, courtyards, and sidewalks.

Soakage Capable Landscaping allows for the disposal of storm water through a private in-ground soakage system to be maintained by the property owner.

Soakage systems require an overland flow path that caters to the storm water overflow in accordance with the design standard requirements for soakage systems.

Paving and soakage capable landscaping is designed to accommodate subsoil drainage in your area.

We also provide paving services. All you have to do is ask.

Surface Water Management

Surface Water Management is designed to prevent surface water flooding, which occurs when heavy storms overwhelms your local drainage systems and capacity.

Surface water management requires coordinated action by people and groups who manage land, river, and drainage systems in your area.

This project investigates local flooding from drains, sewers, runoff from land, and groundwater during heavy rainstorms in your area.

Surface water flooding happens when rain brought about by heavy storms overwhelms your local drainage systems.

We provide surface water management as one of our services. You can count on us to help prevent flooding in your area by installing a drainage system that can handle surface water flooding.

As it happens, every job we complete requires some final touches, which include some of the services listed above. Our prices are extremely sharp and our finishing is exquisite!

Subsoil Solutions For Aucklanders

Since the deluge in 2017, Auckland’s problem with its ageing stormwater drainage pipes came to light. The city’s population growth, coupled with the rise of multi-unit blocks of flats, is putting too much strain on stormwater facilities.

While the Council is already building a multi-million dollar central interceptor to address Auckland’s water woes, many can be done on the private property owners’ part to help the situation. This includes improving their home’s drainage system to minimise runoff to the streets and prevent debris from funnelling into stormwater inlets. Silt and debris blockage was one of the major contributing factors to the massive flooding and damage in New Lynn during the storm.

Installing structures such as subsoil drainage can help to maintain flow conveyance and remove litter and excess sediments that block hotspot inlets during heavy rainfall events.

The problem with old pipes and clay

About 16,000 households or 2 per cent of Auckland’s wastewater network use combined stormwater and sewage pipes. Many of the pipes in older parts of the isthmus were installed a century ago and have not been replaced or “separated.” In heavy downpour, stormwater can easily overload the pipes and backflow into the sewage system.

The stormwater dilutes the wastewater. And when it overflows on private property, it does not only cause a smelly problem but also poses a bigger issue from a public safety perspective. This usually happens on parts of the network that weren’t separated. In some areas, like Hauraki Gulf Islands, there is no formal stormwater system and natural land drainage isn’t sufficient to deal with stormwater.

The problem is exacerbated by Auckland’s clay-dense soils formed under a warm and moist climate. Clay accumulations are particularly high in western suburbs and the inner city areas have soils.

Clay particles accumulate in the layer of the earth below the surface soil, hence called the subsoil. This layer is made up primarily of minerals and leached compounds, and lacks most of the organic elements and the rich soil fauna and flora found in the top soil. Clay has low-porosity and impedes the land’s natural ability to absorb and drain away stormwater.

So when the rain pours, stormwater tends to pond on low-lying areas around homes or run off to the roads, overloading the public wastewater infrastructure. If the flooding reaches the foundation of a house, it can compromise its structural integrity and safety.

This video shows the usual drainage problems that Aucklanders are facing.

What can be done?

The Auckland Council is in charge of stormwater management, but property owners are responsible for maintaining private stormwater assets that run to their property. These private stormwater assets include drains, catchpits, grates, pipes, roof gutters, rain gardens, permeable paving, ponds and soakage pits.

Soak hole repairs and inspections

Stormwater is typically directed to a soak hole rather than led directly to the stormwater network. In areas with no stormwater reticulation facilities, soak holes allow water to percolate to the ground.

Soak holes are basically manholes with boreholes ranging from 5 to 20 metres deep. Over time, soak holes get blocked by the silt, vegetation and litter they trap, and this can cause flooding. These devices require annual cleaning and maintenance, which can include flushing the bores, disposing the waste properly, and checking the inlet pipes.

Soak hole inspections may also be done at any time to ensure the device is functioning as it should and complies with the required health and safety standards.

Subsoil drainage

If your existing stormwater assets are not sufficient, consider incorporating a subsoil drainage system. It can be as simple as digging a trench and filling it with gravel or rock (called a French drain or weeping tile). Modern subsoil drainage uses a specialised perforated pipe covered with geotextile material, which is laid around the foundation or in low-lying areas within the property.

As well as minimising flood risk, installing an effective drainage system can give your property’s market value a boost. In fact, part of the process of property valuation is a thorough inspection from little things such as materials quality and efficiency wiring and plumbing, to general details like the location, the lot and the house itself.

Nobody wants to buy a house that gets flooded every time it rains. So things like upgrading old plumbing fixtures or installing an efficient drainage system are good investments with greater potential reward. Even if you don’t plan to sell, these projects can increase your quality of life and protect your home from costly water damage.


Hiring qualified and experienced drainlayers

Below are some of the important benefits of hiring an authorised drainlayer for the job:

  • Compliance. Drainlaying is generally a restricted work because it involves sanitary fixtures that concern public heath safety. There are also minimum requirements, specifications and standards to keep in mind when building subsoil drainage, especially for subdivision construction. For instance, the subsoil drainage must have a cesspit or holding pit before overflowing into an approved point of discharge. The pipes must also be laid deep enough into the subsoil, otherwise it will simply drain away the surface water and flooding will persist.
  • Real value for money. The right people will provide the right solution for your property. You get quality results that prevent expensive problems from recurring.
  • Professional insurance reports. A standard home insurance typically includes water damage cover. If you want to make a claim due to sewer backup, overflow and discharge, or flood, a licensed drainlayer can provide you with a detailed and professional insurance report to serve as proof. If you are taking out an insurance policy, a professionally written report for your new drainage system will increase your chances of getting coverage for drainage emergencies.

To learn more about subsoil drainage solutions in Auckland, talk to us.

Have You Been Instructed By Watercare To Do Sewer Repairs?

If you are working on a public or private site near public utility pipes, you will most likely need a resource consent and engineering approval from the Auckland council as well as a Works Over approval from Watercare. As per Water Supply and Wastewater Network Bylaw 2015, the design of a structure shall protect the public water supply network and wastewater network from possible damage, misuse and interference. It also must not harm the environment or the safety of the people using the water supply.

Typical projects that need said approval are subdivisions, major developments and multi-lot projects. But in general, this requirement covers any project that includes building over a pipe, working close to a manhole and trenching of services.

The Works Over approval is given on the basis that the owner acknowledges all risk associated with repair or replacement works on the pipeline and future maintenance. On the other hand, Watercare assumes no risk or responsiblitity concerning the building, engineering or legal work associated with the application, the work itself and any consequences arising from future works (if any).

So if upon review of your application, Watercare finds any damage to the pipeline within your site plan, you will be asked to carry out sewer repairs or replacement. You may need to provide an initial CCTV inspection survey along with your application, for this purpose.

As the owner, it is your responsibility to pay for all repair/replacement costs and to ensure the following steps are undertaken:

  1. The work must be carried out by a licensed/registered drainlayer certified by the Plumbers Gasfitters Drainage Board (PGDB). A certified drainlayer would work to comply with Watercare’s requirements for your particular building project.
  2. The drainlayer must secure an authorisation from Watercare to work on the public utility network. The approval to access and/or connect to the wastewater network must be applied for and granted prior to commencing work. To apply for this authorisation, you will need to provide a copy of your approved Works Over pack.
  3. Once some or all of the work have been completed, your drainlayer should provide a CS3 form with an as-built plan of the completed work. These will be sent to compliance
  4. One all works are complete, a final CCTV inspection must be submitted to ensure that the pipe has been repaired and none of the other pipes were affected.

Under normal circumstances, building over or adjacent to a public drain isn’t permitted. Nevertheless, dispensation is given as along as specific conditions are complied with and the building work is completed according to the approved plans.

The following are the specific conditions stipulated by Watercare:

  • Existing asset/ wastewater connection

The property owner is responsible for identifying the exact location of all Watercare pipes and structures (including connections) onsite to ensure all clearance requirements are met as per Watercare Engineering Standards. Any blockages and/or damage resulting from inability to identify and protect these assets will be shouldered by the owner at his own cost.

As service connections are not allowed under the building footprint, the owner must see to the relocation of existing connections to a minimum 1m clearance from the building. Moreover, all work involving the existing wastewater service connections must be compliant with Watercare’s compliance statement policy. A separate ‘new connection application’ is required for all new wastewater connections.

  • Foundation

To protect the wastewater pipe, foundation design must provide adequate support and protection for the structure on top of the pipe and the bridging piles must absorb the structural load of the building. All excavated sites within the 45o filed of the influence must be shored or retained properly to avoid damaging the sewer pipe line. The bottom of the foundation slab or beam must be compliant with Watercare Code of Practice Drawing WW 27. At any time throughout the works, Watercare’s ability to maintain and/or replace the pipe must not be impeded.

  • Piles/retaining wall posts

There should be at least 1 metre horizontal clearance between the foundation piles and the face of the pipe. The piles must be in a predrilled hole and founded below the 45o zone of loading influence. Driven piles are not allowed unless they are over 5 metres horizontally from the face of the pipe.

For keystone retaining wall foundation, a minimum vertical clearance from the top of pipe is required as per Watercare Code of Practice Drawing WW 27.

A council structural engineer must inspect bridging details and calculations before issuing a Building Consent and/or EPA.

  • Driveway/vehicle crossing

A minimum of 900mm vertical clearance must be maintained from the top of the driveway slab to the top of the water and wastewater pipes. Heavy machinery must NOT be parked or operated directly above Watercare assets.  Surface mounted assets must be cordoned off to avoid traffic movement over them or must be protected with 30mm steel road plates at construction vehicle crossing points. Any exposed mains must be cover with 150mm layer of SAP7 cushion prior to backfilling. Backfill must be compacted in 200mm layers to achieve maximum density.

  • Manholes

During the course of the work, the owner must ensure all manholes are accessible at all times. The minimum clearance from any structure is 1 meter from the outside edge of the manhole chamber.

  • Damage to Watercare asset

If in case the public water or wastewater line is damaged during construction, the owner must immediately advise Watercare and seek approval for repair work.

  • Post construction CCTV

A final CCTV inspection survey and log must be submitted to Watercare once all of the works have been completed. This is to ensure that no defects/damage to the sewer pipes have been incurred during construction. If any issue is found on the post construction CCTV, the repair and all associated costs must be borne by the property owner.

If you need a reliable drainlayer to carry out Watercare compliant sewer repairs, get in touch with Euro Plumbing on 0800 832 638. We have the expertise and equipment for the job, and we’ll take care of your repairs so you can proceed with your building project ASAP.

Wet Carpet Flood Tips

A wet carpet is more than just a nuisance. It may be a symptom of a more serious underlying residential drainage problem such as basement flooding. Not only that, it may also become a cause for serious health risks, i.e. the growth of moulds or mildew.

There are many possible scenarios that can lead to basement flooding. Houses built on wooden pilling with external block walls on foundation are prone to this issue. On the other hand, below-ground-level entryways or long steep driveways invite surface water into the home.

Regardless of the cause, basement flooding is something that needs urgent attention. Wet carpets harbour moulds, including a particularly dangerous one, Stachbotrys, that can cause severe illness in adults or death in infants. In ideal conditions, moulds can grow on wet carpet within a span of 48 to 72 hours

Before you panic, read this handy guide for dealing with a flooded basement. Doing these steps will help prevent permanent damage to your property and belongings:

  • First of all, turn off the circuit breakers to the flooded areas and remove any small electrical devices. For your safety, wear rubber boots and gloves. Or call your local electrician for help.
  • If safe to do so, remove small furnishings immersed in the water to prevent rotting or rusting. Metal furniture may also leave stains on the carpet if left standing on it too long.
  • Hang draperies or other furniture skirts that are in contact with water. This will prevent water stains.
  • Remove valuable items, paper goods, potted plants and breakables.
  • Do not attempt to use a vacuum or shop vac to remove water from the basement. This is a potential electrical shock waiting to happen.
  • Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands after removing important items from your basement.
  • If you suspect that the flooding is sewage related, do not handle any of the items. Also, do not use a fan or turn on the air con unit to dry up the wet floor. This will only help to spread the contamination.
  • Plan for flood restoration professionals to dry and disinfect the flooded area.

Ultimately, the best solution in this situation is to solve basement flooding permanently, not just to deal with the effects.

If left unresolved, it can cause considerable damage to the flooring, furniture and even the structural foundation of your home. You’ll likely run into the same problem in the future as well, so it’s like a never-ceasing headache.

Fixing the root of the problem is the best route. Once you got that sorted out, you should call in flood restoration experts such as Auckland Steam ‘n’ Dry to get your basement back to its original state. You can call them on 09 376-7007.

We recommend doing it the professional way because it guarantees proper drying and restoration methods that will prevent the growth of moulds and eliminate any contamination issues.



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