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Water Quality Of Streams And Beaches A Priority

Water Quality Of Streams And Beaches Still A Top City Priority

April 28, 2005

The 'three waters' - water supply, stormwater and wastewater (sewerage) - continue to be a major focus for North Shore City over the coming financial year.

The council's budgets and work programmes for the year are set out in its Draft 2005 - 2006 Annual Plan, circulated over the past month throughout the city - and inviting public feedback.

North Shore City Council received a total of 295 submissions up to last night (Wednesday 27th).

Although most of the work the council does for the three water services is beneath your feet, and is therefore out of sight, many of the key tasks involve major construction projects, each with the aim of improving or reducing the impact on the city's environment.

Examples are the ongoing expansion and improvements to the Browns Bay sewer network and upgrades to key facilities such as the Browns Bay, Wairau, Seabreeze and Margery pumping stations.

Along with the new work, the city needs to cater for continuing growth, but also needs to continually repair and replace networks as they age.

Water supply systems deliver high quality drinking water throughout the city, and the network is steadily upgraded, renewed and extended.

Stormwater projects also have a top priority, and much of the work being done reduces the threat of flooding, erosion and water pollution. Work continues on extending and upgrading the network, and on repairs and improvements.

Wastewater (sewerage) improvement is also significant, with many major projects being initiated in the new financial year, and others completed within the Project CARE programme, a $210 million, 10-year programme to improve beach and stream water quality.

Within the wastewater category, Project Rosedale is involved with the upgrading of the treatment plant. The council has currently under way considerable planning and preparation for the building of a new tunnel and sea outfall, which will take treated effluent from the wastewater treatment plant's ponds 2.6km out to sea.

Expenditure for the 'three waters' includes:

* Wastewater: transport and treatment of wastewater (sewage) including Project CARE and Project Rosedale: operating expenses $27.4m; capital expenditure $28.5m;

* Stormwater: prevention of flooding, erosion and ensuring stream and beach water quality meets agreed standards: operating expenses $11.5m; capital expenditure $9.7m;

* Water supply and distribution: operating expenses $18.3m; capital expenditure $5.2m.

"Our water services division's capital investment totals $43.4m, with a major portion of this being made to maintain our focus on improving beach and stream water quality," infrastructure and environment committee chairperson, Tony Barker, says.

"The effects of this ongoing work within Project CARE have already seen wet weather overflow events significantly reduced," he says.

People had a month to give feedback on the draft plan, which sets out the council's priorities for the second year of the 2004-2014 City Plan, featuring a billion-dollar capital works programme over the next decade.

An average rates increase of 6.99 per cent is proposed for next year to pay for new assets and maintain existing services in one of the faster-growing parts of New Zealand.

The council's hearings committee will meet during May to hear submissions, with North Shore City councillor Heather Brown in the chair. Any changes will be reflected in the final, approved plan for the year 2005 - 2006, which will be adopted on June 29.


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