Solving Westport’s water supply

Abseil Access workers have recently completed the first phase of a project which will enable Westport residents to once again have safe drinking water. The workers have secured a hill face with self-drilling anchors and a support drape above a water pipe/ tunnel portal. Abseil Access’s safety work has allowed directional drilling and piping contractor Hadlee & Brunton to inject a drill into the portal to clear a tunnel cave-in and replace the water supply pipe* which was compromised two years ago.
The original pipe had been in use since 1903 and was well past replacement date when in 2016 some Westporters first noticed the drinking water flowing from their taps was a dark brown colour. The discovery of a tunnel collapse in an inaccessible section of the pipeline led to a part of a hill being demolished, which led to Abseil Access skilled workers being called on to make tunnel access safe.
The cut in the hill to allow access to the pipe portals was a solution the Abseil team led by Ash Rogers came up in in conjunction with GEOadvice engineer Sigfrid Dupre. Work began on the site stabilisation within three weeks of the first site visit.
We installed 23 x 6m SDA grout flush anchors into alluvial deposit, then installed approximately 2500m2 of HR30 PVC mesh. The entire job was completed in five weeks including 8 extra anchors at another site.

Oriental Bay’s White Lady gets a bit of love

New Zealand’s beautiful lighthouses are an essential part of marine safety. It is therefore essential they are kept in the best condition in their challenging sea environment. Abseil Access has the privilege of maintaining many of our light houses. Recently we gave Wellington’s Point Jerningham lighthouse a lick of paint and a state-of-the-art solar LED beacon that can be seen throughout the harbour. According to Abseil Director, Martin Wilson, lighthouse maintenance work is the company’s most challenging and satisfying work.
Since Abseil Access first started working on New Zealand’s light houses 25 years ago, we have now serviced virtually all our marine and heritage lighthouses, from Cape Reinga to the bottom of the South island at Stirling Point.
New Zealand’s first lighthouse was commissioned in 1859 and its first lighthouse keeper was also the world’s first woman lighthouse keeper. Initially it was the job of the lighthouse keepers to maintain the buildings. But, with the advent of electrified/ automated lighthouses and demanning of lighthouses from the 1930s, the need for contracted servicing from companies such as Abseil Access has become essential. In 1990 the Brothers Island lighthouse (which Abseil service) at the top of the Marlborough Sounds was the last New Zealand lighthouse to be demanned.