The most widely used grate across Auckland’s 180,000 catchpits is a heavy (48kg) cast iron grate. It is the weight of the grate that keeps it closed.
As these deaths have so tragically highlighted, grates are relatively easy to open without any tool. Once opened (or if a grate is stolen or missing), it presents a very real risk of entrapment and drowning.
Auckland Council and Auckland Transport’s covered this risk along with a wide range of other risks associated with catchpits. The review found that these risks are best managed by making the grate much more difficult to open by the public.
Now available in the market is a spring-latched, torsion bar self-locking safety grate. A safety performance standard has been prepared and published in the Transport Design Manual (TDM). All catchpit grates in new public road drainage in Auckland must conform to this standard.