House gets the 'tanking' test

Last updated 05:00 12/07/2014
Red zoned home flooded
STACY SQUIRES/ Fairfax NZ
WATER WATCH: Workers deliberately flood a red-zoned Avonside home to test flood protection measures.

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It is a sight that would bring most homeowners to tears - a team of workers deliberately flooding your house.

A red-zoned house in Avonside was deliberately flooded yesterday in a bid to find out whether "tanking", which involves applying a waterproof membrane to the exterior of a house, can provide flood protection for low-lying homes.

It is one of a range of short-term defence measures the mayoral taskforce on flooding has come up with to reduce damage to properties.

A dam built around the property was filled with water up to 900mm yesterday to simulate flooding so the council could see how the defence measures perform.

Stuart Sandy, of Aecom Water and Infrastructure Services, said all indications were that the house was flood-resistant. "We got the water level up to 900mm around the house and so far - no leakage," he said. It would stay that way until well into next week with council and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority representatives visiting the site on Monday.

The system relied on homeowners to cover up vents and door openings with provided guards in the event of a flood. Council transport and greenspace manager John Mackie said there was no intent that the council would fund all the work. It was just proving that the concept worked.

It costs between $15,000 and $20,000 to protect a property, but who bore the cost would be decided by the homeowner, their insurer or the Earthquake Commission. 

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- The Press

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