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Flowing ... The new Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company pipeline, which has been moved below road level, west of Kurow, is operational again. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The final finishing touches are being applied to the Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company pipeline west of Kurow, which is now fully operational.

A section of pipeline in the $45million upgrade and expansion of the Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company (KDIC) scheme had been blocking the view of the Waitaki River from State Hwy 83 west of Kurow, which breached consent.

An abatement notice was issued by the Waitaki District Council in 2019, and remedial work began in April to move the pipeline out of sight.

KDIC chairman Jock Webster said the final surface prior to sealing was now in place on the piece of road in question, which had been reduced to one lane, and controlled by traffic lights, since remedial work began in mid-April.

The road could not be sealed until early November, as the process was reliant on warmer temperatures.

A few air valves were still to be painted, along with plantings around some of the stations, Mr Webster said.

The scheme was built and designed by Monadelphous, which had contracted Paul Smith Earthmoving to complete the necessary work.

The mistake had meant delays and extra costs in getting the scheme running.

“We appreciate the patience of people, because it’s quite a long period to have a one-way road with traffic lights on it, which is a bit of a pain … people have patiently put up with it,” Mr Webster said.

Sixty-nine shareholders had been utilising the scheme since operations began last month, and they were “very happy with the way it’s working”.

“Some of the smaller holders, who have had to previously mess around with border dyke irrigation have now got spray irrigation on their properties, and it’s quite magic really. It’s great.”

The scheme made delivery of water to properties a much simpler process than before. Water-use previously had to be staggered between properties, but now shareholders had access whenever they needed it, he said.

It had a maximum flow of 2750 litres per second.

“Previously people used to have to pump, but now with the residual pressure in the pipeline, they can just turn their irrigators on and they go, so there’s no pumping required for some irrigators. It doesn’t apply to everybody, but it does certainly apply for a few.”

The scheme was built to cater for 5500ha, and was at present supplying just over 4000, Mr Webster said.

“There are still some more shares to sell, which makes quite a difference to the running costs of the scheme per hectare.”