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Tairua and Pauanui about to get compliant with national drinking water standards

17 December 2019

One of the core services our Council provides is water supply to 12 communities across the district.

Video - click to watch: Principles and methods of treatment for small drinking water supplies.

These plants use a range of different technologies to treat the water, but for a variety of reasons, some of our communities water supply is not compliant with the national Drinking Water Standards.

Our contractors, Masons Engineers, will have completed the construction of the new Tairua water treatment plant building by Friday, 20 December with the overall completion anticiapted for May 2020. The floor slab for the Pauanui water treatment plant was poured last week (pictured right) and the building consent submission for the Coromandel Town upgrade was also submitted last week with construction is expected to start May/June 2020.

The Whitianga water treatment plant at Moewai Rd was the first plant to be upgraded and opened in July 2019. The $2.8 million water treatment facility is on the same site as the old one, with a brand-new plant with the latest technology and methodologies for treating our water.

“This is all a significant achievement bearing in mind the amount of work that has been pushed through so far,” says our Council's Project Manager, Andrew Boden.

At today’s Council meeting it was agreed that until the plants at Tairua, Pauanui and Coromandel Town are completed, work on Stage Two would not proceed until staff had a chance to report back on the final, detailed costs so far.

As part of the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan budgeting, the first three years of costs were allocated at an approximate figure of $15 million. “To date the project has proceeded well, with the various parties; Council staff, specialist engineering consultants (Lutra), the quantity surveyors (Bond CM), Veolia, Masons and subcontractors, all working well to ensure a quality project,” says Mr Boden.

“At this point in the project, halfway through the first three years, and with asset management planning for the activity, as well as development of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan commencing, it is appropriate that the project is paused to review the work-to-date, the costs incurred, and consider the staging of programme heading forward,” he says.

Stage two includes the remaining treatment plants at Whangamata, Onemana, Matarangi, and Hahei.

Meanwhile, the drinking water treatment plant at Thames was upgraded more recently than the other plants, and is not due for an upgrade as part of this project.

About the Drinking Water Standards upgrade programme

These upgrades are focused on improved performance and that our drinking water quality complies with the current NZ Drinking Water standards.

It’s one of the largest projects being worked on by our Council in recent years and represents a change in the technology utilised for water treatment in the district, as required by the current drinking water standards.

It has been of high importance following a Government inquiry sparked by the 2016 Havelock North gastro outbreak, which was linked to four deaths, and called for a major overhaul of water supplies, including mandatory treatment.