Council’s Three Waters infrastructure improved to the tune of $3.5M
30 Aug 2022, 10:14 AM
Waitomo District Council’s three waters infrastructure and water treatment plants have received an upgrade thanks to a $3.5M boost in funding from Central Government.
WDC received the stimulus funding for participating in tranche one of the Three Waters Reform in 2020.
All councils opted into the first tranche, and as a result WDC received the large sum to support water supply and wastewater projects in the district.
General Manager Infrastructure Services, Shyamal Ram says the $3.5M funded 22 projects which focused on improving resilience, reducing interruption of supply and reducing maintenance costs of the water network.
“The projects were based around what was achievable within the stipulated timeframe, and importantly work that could be done by local contractors.”
A large portion of the funding was spent in Mōkau upgrading the water treatment plant and installing new pipes.
“An upgrade was necessary to improve the performance of the filtration unit, increase operational resilience and provide on-line monitoring and reporting, which is required for drinking water compliance and ultimately resulting in better water quality for Mōkau residents,” says Shyamal.
Another major project included the installation of backflow preventers district wide.
Backflow preventers protect the entire public water supply from chemical and bacterial contamination. Water within premises can become contaminated by greywater from washing machines and outdoor hoses for example. Manifolds with backflow preventers can manually stop water flowing back into the main supply from a house’s connection point.
Funding also went towards the duplication of water monitoring systems to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.
All water treatment plants – Te Kūiti, Mōkau, Maniaiti/Benneydale and Piopio had funds spent on them, including purchasing back up equipment, such as generators which help keep operations running 24/7.
Moving forward, Council will continue to invest in maintenance and renewal upgrades as part of the Annual Plan and Long Term Plan workstreams.
Council’s elected members recently praised staff for an outstanding commitment and dedication to the stimulus funding projects, which was additional work on top of their business as usual workload.
“When you think about the past few years, and what we have had to go through with COVID and all the changes that are taking place, to successfully deliver extra projects in this challenging environment on top of your normal job – it’s quite remarkable,” says Mayor John Robertson.
“It is a great achievement for our district.”