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Published: 2015-01-29 00:00:00

Two key Waikato Regional Council pump stations, which help protect more than 1000 hectares of farmland near Te Aroha from flooding, are getting a $500,000 upgrade.

“The maintenance work on the adjoining Ahikope pump stations, which got underway this month and is due to finish in early March, will ensure they can continue to service the local community’s needs,” said Te Aroha river works manager Paddy Haynes.

Together the pumps help protect 1022 hectares of rural land in the Strange Rd area of Te Aroha during floods.

The pumps automatically kick in and divert surplus water to the Waihou River when the drainage network in the area can’t cope with floodwaters.

"Without these pumps a number of farms would go completely under water during bigger rainfall events,” said Mr Haynes.

Pump station number one was originally built in 1962 by the then Thames Valley Drainage Board, while the second pump station was built in 1980 by the then Hauraki Catchment Board to add pumping capacity to the site.

The upgrade includes a range of works such as extending the pump inlets by about three metres, driving in 90 large piles for foundations and retaining walls, and installing new weed screens. The work is being carried out by contractor Brian Perry Civil.