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Going underground . . . Good progress is being made to move part of the Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company's pipeline below road level. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Efforts to ensure Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company’s pipeline complies with consent are on track, with testing of the pipes due to begin next week.

The irrigation company is in the process of moving a section of the pipeline underground, after it was given an abatement notice by Waitaki District Council in 2019.

A section of pipeline in the $45million scheme upgrade and expansion blocked the view of the Waitaki River west of Kurow, which breached consent.

Work began in mid-April to make the required changes.

Kurow-Duntroon Irrigation Company (KDIC) chairman Jock Webster said rectifying the mistake had added “a whole lot more cost” to the scheme.

“We’d be much happier if it would have been finished when it was meant to be finished,” Mr Webster said.

The irrigation company believed Monadelphous, who designed and built the scheme, was responsible for ensuring the pipeline complied with the consents, and is currently remediating the bluff pipeworks.

“It was a design/build scheme .. [Monadelphous] were required to comply with all the conditions of the consent,” he said.

The exact cost of rectifying the mistake was not yet known.

A Monadelphous Group spokeswoman said the company was working with KDIC to deliver the project.

The deadline for compliance was September and Mr Webster said the work was going to plan.

This week, the last pipe was to be placed to join up the whole system, and then it was a process of backfilling and pouring thrust blocks and securing rock anchors.

“We’re hoping to fill the pipe up with water on August 13.”

The pipes were filled for testing purposes, to make sure there were no leaks, and if that went smoothly, ponds would be filled then too, he said.

Irrigation scheme users had not faced too much disruption, as the majority of the upgrades had taken place over autumn and winter, when irrigation was turned off.

“The next thing we need the water for is frost-fighting, really.”

A “few other things” to be tidied up were also going to schedule, including reinforcing concrete at the dam and further testing of the pipeline for leaks.

Then final commissioning would take place.

Re-establishing State Highway 83 west of Kurow, which had been reduced to one lane during the work, would take a bit more time, Mr Webster said.

“That’s a fairly major job,” he said.

“They can’t seal it until the temperatures warm up a bit, so that won’t happen until late October or November.”