Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Quirky water

I guess this happens in many cities, particularly those built on hills, but one of the things I find quirky about Dunedin are the number of little streams that run down through people's properties, under roads, out the other side and then go....who knows where? (Well, someone does, no doubt, just not me.)

At the back of my son's property is a stream that trickles down behind all the properties in that area. I have no idea where it eventually comes out, as it doesn't seem to be visible around the corner of the block further down the hill.

When I walk to work down Neidpath Rd, there's a stream that runs between two properties on one side of the road, can be heard running under the road, and then appears not opposite where it's first seen, but two or three houses further along. There it has its own little space in someone's garden, and then it goes...who knows where?

I noticed this morning that after the heavy rain there was a good deal of water coming down the side of the hill further along Neidpath. This fall of water isn't usually very obvious and heads into a culvert that doesn't seem to have any outlet on the other side of the road.

At the bottom of the Glen is a large outlet for water that comes, presumably, off the hill. But I don't know that there's any sign of it further up.

And I only just learnt, after a number of years of being puzzled, that the water that comes out of a pipe in Broadway (a short street which, in my childhood, used to be a pedestrian mall with a pile of tiny shops - the only one I can remember sold nothing but umbrellas), and runs - often at quite a pace - down the gutter, around the corner into Rattray St, isn't a broken pipe but the outlet for an underground spring. It must come out at quite a high point, because there's a bank down below the place it appears leading onto the back of the Southern Cross Hotel.

Apparently the Dunedin City Council get calls almost every day from someone asking why water is being 'wasted'. (As I did.) It does seem odd that the water is being allowed just to drain away. If it's spring water, it's possibly on a par with the spring water that comes out of a tap on the Speight's Building. So why let if just disappear again? I have no idea.

25.4.15 Update. It seems as though the water in Broadway may be part of the Toitu stream which runs across Maori Rd at one point (or rather, under the road), down through the bush and under Canongate, and then under more of the streets. Of course it has a much longer trip than this, but that's part of it.

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