Property owners in Ohuka Park near Whitianga have moved from their current private water scheme to Council's water supply. The Ohuka Park Water Scheme Association negotiated the change on behalf of its members to make sure they will have a more secure water supply and to improve water quality in the future. The main upgrades include extending an appropriately-sized new water pipe from the Rimu Street water tanks to the three main stages of Ohuka Park. Council will also have to install fire hydrants to meet the required fire fighting standards. CONSTRUCTION UPDATE Work on the water connection is complete. Our drilling team encountered more rock than was anticipated, leading to drill rods breaking. After a few unexpected delays, the Association's supply was decommissioned on 19 August 2015. Background Much hard work has been put in by volunteer members consulting with Council since 2011 leading up to Council's official consultation through June and July last year with hearings in the Council chambers last August. In October last year, Council sent out forms for all property owners in the Ohuka area to determine payment methods for connecting the area to the Council's water supply. Some property owners have chosen to pay the development contribution and/or the capital contribution for the connection pipeline as an one-off payment by 10 May 2015, while others have taken the option to pay by a targeted rate over the next five years. What has to be done? The existing private water system has been upgraded to meet the required design standards (see Standards New Zealand’s publication NZS4404:2010 and Council’s publication Code of Compliance for Subdivision and Development). The main upgrades included extending an appropriately-sized new water pipe from the Rimu Street water tanks to the three main stages of Ohuka Park. Who will be affected? Download the map on this page to see which properties are involved. There are three charges: an equal share of the upgrade cost (payable over five years) a development contribution (payable over five years) on-going water rates (similar to the annual charges for the private water system) What were the options? (The information below was presented to property owners in 2014) Option 1 - Connect to Council’s water supply If Council does extend its water supply system to Ohuka Park, the benefits below will apply. Option 2 - Retain the status quo If Council does not extend its water supply system to Ohuka Park, properties will either remain on the private water system or supply their own tank water. Please note that the Ohuka Park Water Scheme Association advises considerable costs will come with this option (and will need to be funded by the Association’s members). These costs relate to: A significant water treatment upgrade to improve water quality and meet the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards Significant infrastructure upgrades (including water pumps and storage tanks) to increase system capacity and meet the growing water demands of Ohuka Park Installation of expensive stream monitoring equipment to regularly monitor the Tarapatiki Stream (the current water source) as required by regional council resource consents Employing professional contractors to regularly operate, maintain, monitor and report on the private water scheme and associated stream monitoring activities. (These functions are currently undertaken by a small number of individuals whose voluntary services cannot be relied upon with certainty in the future.) What are the benefits to connecting to Council’s water supply? Every property identified in the map will have security and guaranteed provision of safe drinking water which meets New Zealand Drinking Water Standards. Mains water pressure and the provision of fire hydrants to ensure that required fire fighting standards are met. Word from the Chairman of the Ohuka ParkWater Scheme Association: Dear members and non-members, As you all know, we have been working with Council on behalf of the residents of Ohuka Park to secure a safer and more reliable water supply. This has involved much hard work by volunteer members and negotiations with Council since 2011. I am therefore both pleased and relieved to have finally reached this point of decision. I personally believe that the option of connecting to Council’s water supply provides the most cost effective and sustainable solution going forward. I therefore encourage you to complete and return this form to Council at your earliest convenience. The future of our water supply is for us to now decide. Kind regards Hans Apers For more information please contact: Steve Baker of Thames Coromandel District Council 07 868 0200 | firstname.lastname@example.org Rob Hart of Ohuka Park Water Scheme Association 07 866 5030 | email@example.com Hans Apers of Ohuka Park Water Scheme Association 07 866 2848 | firstname.lastname@example.org Jeff Riddle of Ohuka Park Water Scheme Association 027 471 2234 | email@example.com Submissions closed on Saturday 26 July 2014.