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New $2.6 million Patea Water Plant Opened


New $2.6 million Patea Water Plant Opened

South Taranaki District Mayor, Ross Dunlop, and local kaumatua, Syd Kershaw, officially blessed and opened the new $2.6 million Patea Water Plant today.

The work, which involved building a new bore, reservoir and water plant, gives Patea a much greater security of water supply, particularly over summer, and means that the town will be fully compliant with the latest Drinking Water Standards.

Mayor Dunlop says the Council has invested a huge amount of time and money into upgrading and modernizing the District’s water supplies.

“Since 2005, the main priority of the Council has been on improving the District’s water infrastructure. Over the last six years we have completed nearly $50 million of work. Today our water supplies are more robust than they have ever been with new treatment plants, water bores, reservoirs and some interconnections between supplies,” he says.

STDC engineering assets and planning manager, Howard Wilkinson, says that as a result of work the Council has been doing in Patea over the last couple of years, they have been able to reduce water loss from the town’s pipe network by 80%.

“However, even with this great effort we still needed to build an extra borehole to supply enough water and allow one of the other boreholes to be maintained,” he says.

“We also drilled a monitoring well so we can check that we are not drawing sea water towards our boreholes. In the past, boreholes in Patea have had to be abandoned because they have become too salty,” says Mr Wilkinson.

Water from the two existing bores was analysed and showed the water was between 158-179 years old. “When water is that old, it’s very safe to drink as bacteria and protozoa cannot survive for that length of time.”

Mr Wilkinson also says while the old reservoir on the sand hill on the approach to Patea was a local landmark, it had to come to the end of its operational life.

“We had originally planned to build another reservoir next to it on the hill, but a seismic analysis showed that in an earthquake similar to those experienced in Christchurch, the stability of the hill couldn’t be guaranteed. So we had to build the new reservoir at the bottom of the hill and we pump water from the reservoir into the reticulation network to make sure the pressure is adequate. We also have an emergency generator onsite in case of power failure,” says Mr Wilkinson.

“The Ministry of Health also contributed grants of $360,000 (excl gst) to the upgrades,” he says.
In his closing remarks Mayor Dunlop reflected on other major projects in Patea which the Council had recently invested in; namely the multi-million dollar clean up of the old freezing works, construction of the new Museum and the town swimming pool.

Mr Dunlop says that over the next couple of years the Council has also budgeted around half a million dollars to replace some of the old pipes in the town’s water reticulation network.

- ENDS –

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