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New Temuka water main now live

The last piece of the multi-million dollar replacement of the water main serving Temuka and Winchester has been put in place and the main is now live.

The last connection of the 9km HDPE pipe has been commissioned this week at Richard Pearse Drive, taking the whole of the failing asbestos-cement trunk main out of the network.

Timaru District Mayor Damon Odey said that he was pleased that hard work of council staff and contractors had got the work to this stage so quickly.

“In December we promised the Temuka community a swift solution to this issue, and although this was partly met with the installation of the filtration plant, council staff and contractors have pulled out all the stops to get the replacement pipe in the ground.

“We’re pleased that things can now get back to normal for the town, whose residents have shown resilience and support during this time, and we want to take the opportunity to thank them again for taking care to conserve water and protect the infrastructure during this critical period.

“With the completion of the pipe it also means that we can remove water restrictions in the town from now.”

The special water restrictions that have been in place due to the filtration plant have now been removed. The signage will be taken down over the next few days. Road and ground restoration work will follow the commissioning of the pipeline during April.

Council Infrastructure Group Manager Ashley Harper said that they’re pleased that such a large project has remained on track over the period.

“Having a project this size, running at this speed, with multiple work sites and a large number of different contractors proved a significant challenge for everyone involved. It’s fantastic to say that despite the sometimes challenging conditions, including an ex-tropical cyclone, we’ve been able to commission the pipeline before Easter as promised,” he said.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the major contractors, landowners and council staff for getting into the particular spirit of this job. It didn’t feel like just another contract, they all took great pride in bringing a better water supply to everyone in Temuka and Winchester and they excelled in the speed and precision of their work.

“The frequent pipe failures we saw in the weeks following the discovery of the issue underlined just how critical it was we had the new pipe in place as quickly as possible.”

Although the main aim of the job was to replace the failing main, the new pipeline enabled the water supply for the town to be upgraded at the same time.

“The need for a complete replacement meant that we didn’t have to go like-for-like on this pipeline,” said Ashley.

“It gave us the opportunity for upgrades such as the use of a larger diameter pipe, with a greater capacity for supplying additional demand in the town, and the installation of more valves to enable easier work on the system in the future. The system is also more flexible, making it more resilient in an earthquake.”


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