Drinking Water Upgrade Programme Progressing Well
The Hastings District Council’s extensive drinking water upgrade programme continues to progress well, with work well advanced on small community treatment upgrades and investigations, and design and site tests underway for water treatment and storage options for the Frimley and Eastbourne supplies.
Safe drinking water is the Hastings District Council’s number one priority, and significant progress has been made since the Drinking Water Strategy was approved in March 2018, including an ambitious work stream comprising new or improved water treatment infrastructure, pipework and reservoir storage.
Construction of a new main trunk pipeline between Hastings and Havelock North has been completed and the Havelock North booster pump station will be operating by the end of February, which will reinforce the water supply to Havelock North.
Work on the small communities treatment plant upgrades (Haumoana, Esk/Whirinaki, Clive, Waipatiki, Whakatu, Waimarama) has commenced, with a prioritised construction programme through to February 2021, while work on the Eastbourne and Frimley upgrades progresses from concept to design and consenting phases.
Water storage has been identified as a vital part of the overall programme for treatment requirements and providing future resilience to our drinking water supply, as well as catering for enhanced firefighting and emergency use.
Overall the total budget for the work has increased from the initial estimate of $48m in 2017 to $60m in this year’s draft Annual Plan.
This is due to a number of factors, including additional work being added to the programme, site specific and geotechnical design requirements and a very buoyant construction market, particularly in the water space.
The Council’s long term funding strategy, however, is unchanged, with the 2020/21 draft annual plan including an increase to the water targeted rate of $50, as forecast, which this work contributes to.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said she was very pleased to see the amount of progress that had been made on such a large, wide-reaching, important piece of work.
“Our water is a precious commodity, it’s the life blood of our region and that’s why it’s our biggest priority.
“Providing safe water to drink, to grow our world-renowned produce, as well as ensuring we have a resilient, sustainable supply, is hugely important for our wellbeing as a district.
“While this water infrastructure is a significant cost to our ratepayers, it’s necessary to protect this resource now and into the future.”