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Council prepares to share new water facility concepts

Southampton Street View

Southampton Street view

The new design for a water treatment and reservoir storage facility on Council-owned land on the corner of Southampton St East and Hastings St South is almost ready to be put before residents.

The site was selected last year because of its proximity to the existing Eastbourne drinking water bores and pipe network.

Hastings District Council Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the construction of two urban water treatment and storage facilities were critical elements of Hastings’ Drinking Water Strategy (2018). 

Council is currently going through a Resource Consent process for one site located at Frimley Park, while the other is the Eastbourne site.

“Safe drinking water is our number one priority. The Havelock North water crisis and subsequent government inquiry highlighted, both for our community and the country as a whole, how important quality water infrastructure is.”

“Water storage and treatment facilities are a key component of keeping our drinking water safe, adding capacity and resilience to the network, and enabling Hastings to meet National Drinking Water Compliance Standards.”

The final detail of the new design, named Waiaroha in consultation with mana whenua, will be shared with Eastbourne site neighbours initially, and then with the wider community as part of Council’s engagement process.

Mayor Hazlehurst said an initial concept made public last year drew considerable feedback, which had informed the current proposal.

“We have listened to our community, and Council is looking forward to sharing the new concepts which incorporate that feedback.”

“Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing our site plans and design options for the water treatment and storage facility with our community. This includes using trees, landscaping and architectural features to lessen the visual impact of the water storage while also creating an appealing space for the community to enjoy.

“Council will consider the community’s feedback on these mitigation options when it makes a final decision on the overall design for the project.”

While initially one tall tank had been planned, this has now been changed to two smaller tanks. Between them they would hold the same amount of water but the profile would be lower. Extensive landscaping, including keeping the existing trees and putting in new plantings, would further soften the visual impact.

The two tanks would be set as far back as possible into the site with a single-storey treatment building between.

A low profile public building and the landscaping would, in combination, be spaces where the community could learn about our aquifers and where that water comes from, how we manage and treat drinking water, and how water is used. It would be particularly attractive to school groups.

The cost of the necessary infrastructure is $14 million, which is budgeted for under the Hastings Drinking Water Strategy. Any costs outside of the infrastructure and required mitigation, estimated at $4 to $6m (subject to final design), would be funded externally – i.e. not from ratepayers.

17 August 2020

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