An emergency program is underway at Appley to repair a collapsed sewer pipe buried 15 meters underground. Semi-permanent pipelines are now being laid to drain all of Ryde’s wastewater.
As previously reported by Island Echo, an eight-foot-wide sinkhole appeared on the walkway between Appley and Puckpool on January 16. Research has since confirmed that a 1 meter wide sewer that carries all of Ryde’s sewage and sewage at a rate of 1,000 liters per second has failed dramatically.
Pumps and tankers were temporarily withdrawn from the mainland. However, due to the depth and complexity of the repair, the work will take several weeks and therefore a semi-permanent network of pipes will be laid.
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Work on building the bypass pipe began Monday and an army of contractors has been on the ground ever since. As part of the project, a bridge structure was created that will allow Ryde Inshore Rescue to launch their lifeboat and provide emergency access to the beach for others.
Southern Water originally said the repairs would take “several weeks” but it has now been stated that it could be early spring before things go back to normal. Geological surveys are scheduled to take place next week, although the upcoming snow could have a negative impact on the progress of repairs.
The new pipelines will be laid along the seawall towards the canoe lake, meaning pedestrians will have to use the sidewalk across the street before returning to the lifeboat station. Boarding was relocated on the beach to enable further use of the footpath towards the puck pool.
Vehicle access to the North Walk and Appley Car Park is closed to all motorists. It is unclear when the road will reopen.
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A spokesman for Southern Water said:
“We apologize to the community as we continue to work on the collapsed sewer in the Appley Beach area. Recent bad weather conditions – and with more rainfall this week – mean that the extent of damage to our sewer and sinkhole continues to be investigated. Geological surveys will be conducted early next week before permanent repairs can safely begin.
“We boarded the walkway onto the beach to make it safe and accessible for everyone, keeping the popular path open for those who want to take a walk in the area. A more permeable temporary pipeline is currently being installed along the beach wall so that work on the sewer is no longer possible and tankers and temporary pumps can be shut down.
“The final repair is complex and will take several weeks. We cannot confirm an exact timeframe at this time as specialist engineers will have to work to design the best solution, but it will likely take until early spring.
“It is not in anyone’s best interests that this take longer than necessary and we want to assure our customers that we will get back to work as soon as possible. We acknowledge the inconvenience this brings to the region and thank everyone for their patience. “
Southern Water has announced that damage to nearby sidewalks and roadways as a result of the work will be repaired.