As Hastings’ major drinking water network upgrade nears completion mid-next year, Covid-related contractual delays and supply chain issues, as well as inflationary cost increases for materials and services, mean additional funding is required to finish the project.
At today’s Operations and Monitoring Committee meeting, Council approved $8.7m in loan funding to be added to the current budget of $82m, in order to finish the work in line with Council’s 2018 commitment to make safe drinking water its top priority.
Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said that the reprioritisation of this money from within the existing total capital projects budget represented 10 per cent of the total cost of this, one of the single most significant capital works projects in council’s history.
“It’s been six years now since the Havelock North water crisis when our council made it our top priority to make our water safe. There’s been such a lot of progress since this work started in 2018/19, even despite the unavoidable and unforeseen consequences of an unprecedented global pandemic.
“Covid has made this project hugely challenging, not least facing logistical complications and cost escalations.
“We are close now to having an extensive network of upgraded drinking water treatment facilities and additional water storage reservoirs that are at the cutting edge of technology and will provide our city and wider district’s residents safe water, treated to the highest standard.
“Our council is very proud that we are so close now to finishing the entire project. This reallocation of funds means we can get on and deliver on our commitment to the community in the most timely way possible.”
Despite the constraints, significant progress has been made on all components of the overall drinking water network upgrade, due to be finished in July next year.
The Frimley water storage and treatment facility is now substantially completed and ready for testing and commissioning.
The pipes to transport water to and from Waiaroha, on the corner of Southampton and Hastings Sts, have been installed and one water reservoir has been built with the other 80 per cent complete. The water treatment plant is under construction, as is the Waiaroha education building and associated groundworks.
Of the small community upgrades, five treatment plants are complete and operating (Haumoana, Esk/Whirinaki, Waimārama, Te Pōhue, Clive), one is complete and in commissioning (Waipatiki) and one is being constructed and due to be finished in November this year (Whakatū).
Since the project began in 2019, other components of the work programme that have already been completed are the 4.2km-long Havelock North trunkmain, the Havelock North booster station, and treatment upgrades at the Wilson Rd plant.
While the extra funding would be used across the project, the majority would be put towards completing the Waiaroha project, including the education building that will provide the community with a holistic and informed knowledge of the journey of water from the mountains to the sea.
15 September 2022
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