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Water Update

waiaroha artist impression

Work on every element of Waiaroha – Hastings’ drinking water storage and treatment facility – is well underway, with construction expected to be completed mid-year.

Safe drinking water has been Council’s number one priority over the last six years. Waiaroha is the final piece of the Hastings Drinking Water Strategy, developed in the wake of the Havelock North drinking water contamination and the ensuing Government review.

On the Waiaroha site, both five million litre tanks are complete and have received their final certification. The tanks are specifically designed to withstand serious earthquakes. They meet BRANZ Seismic Resilience IL4 standard – appropriate for structures that must remain standing in an earthquake (or other disaster) and continue to be operational immediately afterwards, the same as emergency operation centres and hospitals. The only higher level (IL5) is for buildings such as nuclear and biological containment facilities.

The dome design of the tank roof provides the necessary space between the water level and the roof, to allow for water movement during earthquakes.

Between the two tanks, the interior of the new treatment facility is being prepared for the technology that will ensure the drinking water is safe, including pumps, treatment and UV filters. The 4.7-metre tall glass windows along the front of the building that will enable visitors to see the processes are due to be installed, and the foundations of the viewing walkway are being completed.

On the Southampton St frontage, the frame of the learning facility is all but completed, with its glass walls expected to be installed in the coming weeks.

The learning facility and surrounding green space, with its landscaping designed to reflect the journey of water from the mountains to the sea, will be spaces where the community can learn about our aquifers and how nature fills them, how drinking water is managed and treated in Hastings, the way water is used across the region, and its cultural importance.

The spaces have been be designed to be particularly attractive to school groups while also being a space for community hui, and will provide a new public green space within the central city.

Frimley water treatment and storage facility

Construction of the Frimley project, including an eight million litre water tank and treatment facility, was completed in late 2022. It is now undergoing its testing and commissioning phase, expected to be completed within weeks, after which it will supply drinking water into the system.

Small community drinking water supplies

The Hastings Drinking Water Strategy has seen seven Council-owned small community supplies fully upgraded with treatment systems designed specifically for each water source: Haumoana/Te Awanga (820 connections), Clive (390), Waimarama (340), Whirinaki/Esk (320), Whakatū (150), Waipātiki (75), and Te Pōhue (20).

The last two to be constructed, Waipātiki and Whakatū, are in their commissioning phases. The Waipātiki facility is supplying water to the reservoir and is expected to be fully operational within weeks, after which the commissioning of the Whakatū facility will be completed.

Earlier projects in the strategy included the laying of a new 4.8 kilometre mains water pipe between Hastings and Havelock North and the construction of a new booster pump station in Havelock North.

30 January 2023

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