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$3.4 million Opunake Water Treatment Plant Opened

South Taranaki District Mayor, Ross Dunlop officially opened the new $3.4 million Opunake Water Treatment Plant today.

The work, which involved installing a membrane filtration system, gives Opunake a more robust water supply and means that the town will be fully compliant with the latest Drinking Water Standards.

The opening of the Opunake plant comes hot on the heels of a $580,000 upgrade to the Rahoutu Water treatment Plant.

Mayor Dunlop says the Council has invested a huge amount of time and money into upgrading and modernising the district’s water supplies and Opunake and Rahoutu are the latest places to benefit from its water infrastructure upgrade programme.

“Since 2005, the main priority of the Council has been on improving the District’s water infrastructure. Over the last 8 years we have completed nearly $56.3 million of work. Today our water supplies are more robust than they have ever been with new treatment plants, water bores, reservoirs and interconnections between supplies,” he says.

South Taranaki District Council engineering assets and planning manager, Howard Wilkinson, says the membrane filtration system which has been used at Opunake is very similar to that used successfully in 2010 at the Kapuni Water Treatment Plant which supplies Hawera.

“The membranes are made up of thousands of tiny straws that have microscopic holes in the walls which forms an absolute barrier. The holes in the membranes are big enough to let the water though but stop the dirt, bacteria and other pathogens like Giardia,” says Mr Wilkinson.

“The plant has the ability to supply 2,100m3/day, which is slightly more than the old plant. This can meet the demand of Opunake township and some farms that are also supplied along the trunk main while also leaving a small surplus for development,” he says.

Mr Wilkinson says the final major water infrastructure project in the district is the $9 million Waimate West upgrade which should be completed around August this year. Waimate West, which supplies water to about 800 farms and the towns of Manaia and Kaponga is South Taranaki’s largest water supply by volume.


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