When Mike Bluck established Waterworks Irrigation Ltd more than 23 years ago, he wanted it to be more than just about the ‘end of year balance sheet’.
With 18 month’s experience working for a leading irrigation ﬁrm under his belt, Mike set off on his own with a determination to look after his customers through ethical business standards and quality workmanship.
From the small beginnings of a one-man operation developing simple irrigation systems, Waterworks Irrigation Ltd has grown to be a leader in agricultural and horticultural irrigation systems, pumping and ﬁltration systems, rain water harvesting and outdoor water features.
The Auckland-based business now employs 15 full-time staff, swelling to 25 over the busy summer months.
“Many of the full time staff have been with me for 15 years or more so there’s a lot of experience within the team. “The longevity and experience of the staff is gold—you just can’t buy that.”
Operating throughout the North Island and Paciﬁc Islands, Waterworks Irrigation also sells plant, machinery and plumbing supplies direct to tradesmen and DIY-ers through its well-stocked shop in Ellerslie.
A large purpose-built engineering facility in Karaka, doubles as the business’ machinery storage facility and steel fabrication workshop.
Continually reinvesting back into the business, Waterworks Irrigation has accumulated an enviable collection of plant and machinery including large high speed trenching units, trucks and excavators.
“We have a very modern ﬂeet of vehicles, tools, welding machines, cranes and trucks. We’ve invested heavily in having really good gear that’s efﬁcient and quick.”
Attracting a diverse range of work, Mike says the company has a wide range of skill sets from machinery operation to general plumbing, working with pressure pipes ranging right up to 400mm taking anything from 10 litres to 10,000 litres a minute.
Experienced at doing a lot of big pipe work with high ﬂow rates, Waterworks Irrigation has established a trusted reputation for substantial large open trench installations.
“We recently installed a system in the Waikato for Fresh Herb and Salad—very big growers of different lettuce types, spinach and so forth. “It was super critical for them to have the right water in the right places at the right time.”
Supplying water is not just for irrigation purposes – frost protection in the horticultural industry is essential, as Mike explains.
“We recently did a 52ha block in the Waikato for Zealong Tea. While it provided irrigation in the dry summer months, its main purpose was frost protection for the crop during late winter. That unit is designed to run 9000 litres a minute—it was a substantial set up.”
Mike says that while large-scale irrigation installations are not typically undertaken in the winter months, there is always commercial and residential irrigation to be undertaken while the building is still under construction.
In more recent times, Waterworks Irrigation has added outdoor lighting to its long list of services.
Finding that a lot of the high-end residential builds were putting both irrigation and lighting systems in, Mike saw an opportunity to dig one trench for both irrigation and cabling.
‘We’re the only company in Auckland that I’m aware of doing both irrigation and outdoor lighting. By combining trenches we save the customer money.”
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