Map showing the possible areas affected by various hazards.

Nelson’s potential hazards revealed

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More than 5000 Nelson residents have received letters outlining potential hazards to their homes, including liquefaction, flooding and contaminated land.
Nelson City Council last week released the latest information from its study into hazards for the region and it includes possible liquefaction affecting around 1650 homes if a massive earthquake struck.

Almost 1700 homes could be affected if the Maitai River flooded and 2800 homes could be affected by being built on a site that was previously used for hazardous activities, like an apple orchard where spraying may have taken place.
All of the homeowners received a letter outlining what the new information meant to them and letting them know that a note would be added to their property information held by the council. That information is available for potential home buyers via a LIM report at the council.

But the council was quick to make sure people understood the risk of such disaster hasn’t increased, they are just more aware of what would happen if it did. “Homes are not more likely to be affected than they were last week,” says Nelson mayor Rachel Reese. “All councils are obliged to research and collect new information on hazards so we can help in appropriately managing the risk to people and their property.”

The major information to come from the investigation is liquefaction in Tahuna which could lift buried water and sewer pipes, see ground levels drop up to 290mm and widespread sand boils.
Flooding around the Maitai River is one of the region’s most common natural hazards, says NCC, having flooded many times in the past. But this new research shows more areas potentially affected that previously thought.

The homes listed as being built on potentially contaminated land is based on historical research only and without doing any soil testing, but NCC says it will work with those homeowners concerned about what could be in their soil.