Benefits Flow from Water Project
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The $20 million project, undertaken by the South Taranaki District Council, involved constructing a new intake, pumping station and pipeline on the Kapuni Stream, new production bore, two new reservoirs and a state of the art water treatment plant at Kapuni on Skeet Road.
The new treatment plant with its micro filtration membrane filters is able to treat and produce 4,000 cubic meters more water than the old plant, of a much higher quality. This, combined with the extra water sourced from the new production bore, means there is extra capacity in the system which will help reduce the frequency of water restrictions.
And it seems to be working. For residents well used to annual water shortages at this time of year, there have been no restrictions introduced.
Group manager of Engineering Services, Neil McCann, says he is extremely pleased residents are already seeing the benefits of the upgrades however he cautions that summer is not over yet.
“We are entering the drier summer months of February, March and April so I cannot say there won’t be future restrictions. The best way to avoid water restrictions is for all of us to use water responsibly so we don’t use more than we need,” he says.
“Water demand will always need to be carefully managed because we are limited on the amount of water we are allowed to take from our rivers and streams. While our programme of improvements and upgrades will significantly improve the reliability of supply and provide a buffer in times of emergencies, the more responsible we are with our water use, the less likely we are to have restrictions,” he says.
Mr McCann also says the Council’s current water focus is on fixing Opunake’s water issues. A new clarifier has been built and installed at the water treatment plant and testing should be finished this week.
“Once the clarifier is up and running residents should see improvements during times of heavy rainfall,” he says. “However the next step is to progressively clean out all the sediment and material in the town’s reticulation (pipe) network. We will start this cleaning or flushing as we call it, in February and systematically work through the town over several months,” he says.
The Council has budgeted for a major upgrade of the Opunake Water Treatment Plant in 2011/2012 and over the next 6 months will carefully monitor the performance of the clarifier to determine exactly what upgrades will be needed.