The parts for the new water treatment facility that will enable one of the Brookvale pumps to be turned on again have been constructed across the globe.
Some have arrived, including the UV plant, while others are either clearing customs in their home countries or on flights.
It has been a mammoth task. Normally putting in a two-stage treatment plant of this size would take a year at minimum rather than the five months that this one is being completed in, says Hastings District Council assets manager Craig Thew.
“We have had people working on this right through the Christmas break, planning, checking, ringing freight forwarding companies to get it all here as soon as we possibly can.
“But unfortunately for us that Christmas break has lost us some time, as factories making these products don’t work through. To help catch up we have flown the gear in rather than shipping it which is shaving delivery times from about 14 weeks back to about four weeks.”
The made-to-order UV unit was built in the Netherlands and arrived last week. Filter cartridges had to be ordered from the United States and were being processed by US customs this week, expected to arrive late next week. The filter housings, also made overseas, are expected next week as well. Smaller components including valves, flow meters and telemetry equipment has been purchased from overseas suppliers and are all either here or close. The stainless steel pipes have been designed and are being welded in Hawke’s Bay.
“All of these components have to be made individually by companies experienced in this sort of work. There is no such thing as an off-the-shelf treatment plant at this scale,” said Mr Thew.
The planning and construction are painstaking, as Council has to be sure that all the different parts will fit together on site.
“All treatment plants have different requirements relating to things like site, water pressures and the need to connect to differing systems.”
In the meantime site works, including floor slabs, pipe work and a shipping container that will house the plant, had been installed.
Council had investigated whether employing more people could speed the process up, however that had not proved possible. “In the end it is the manufacturing of the parts that takes the time and that can’t be sped up,” said Mr Thew.
The news that almost all the parts were nearly here was welcomed by Hastings mayor Lawrence Yule.
“We know that the length of time to get another pump up and running has been a very frustrating process for our residents, but the reality is that this is a treatment plant, not just a well with a filter, and these things have to be made to measure,” he said.
“The drawings show that the physical aspects of the project are complex, and they involve different companies making different elements of the design.”
Realistically, the new plant will not be pumping water into the system until mid-February, he said.
“We wish it could be sooner, but with the best will in the world we can’t make it go faster.”
Originally it had been hoped that the installation of a UV unit alone would mean the bore could be opened before the end of January, however that had not been the case and the second stage filtering system had been added.
Mr Yule said all other options were considered but would have taken longer. “People have asked why we did not put more new bores down but that process can take up to two years for such a large supply. Health requirements mean that the aging of water alone takes at least five months.
“While the physical drilling of the bore can be quick, it is the associated pipework, power supply, consenting and testing that takes a lot of time. Because the large pipework to Havelock North was already in place at Brookvale Rd with things like power, it made sense to use that but with new treatments added.”
5 October 2017
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