Progress continues on plans to develop a new $18.3 million water treatment plant on a new site on Whau Valley Road.
2/02/2016 10:24 a.m.
The investigation has been completed, the best option selected, the land has been secured, now Council is preparing to apply for a site to be designated for Whau Valley Dam’s new water treatment plant.
The move follows studies undertaken last year to decide between upgrading the aging water treatment plant on the corner of Whau Valley Road and Fairway Drive, or whether to rebuild to ensure an ongoing secure drinking water for the District.
The existing plant has been providing water to Whangarei for more than 60 years. Over time it has been adapted to meet rising water quality standards, and it now processes much more water than it did when it was new.
But its age, location within a built up residential area, the growth in the District, advances in water treatment processes, and most recently higher earthquake standards have all combined to make it a more sustainable long term option to build a new plant than to upgrade the existing one.
“After considering a number of options, Council decided last year to build a new $18.3 million plant on a new site on Whau Valley Road. It will produce 22,000 cubic metres of drinking water a day, compared to the current 15,000 cubic metres. It will also have the latest technology and will future-proof Whangarei’s drinking water requirements for several decades,” said Council's Infrastructure Services Chairman Greg Martin.
“We have secured a good site of the right type with plenty of space to accommodate the Plant. It is big enough for the plant to fit in with the character of Whau Valley when it is built, and not to block views and countryside that neighbours enjoy.
“The designation application is a legal process to ensure the site can be used for a water treatment plant. If all goes according to plan, work could begin in the next construction season (2016/17) and it could be operational within three years.”
Councillor Martin said the existing water treatment plant would be maintained for several years to use as a back up as the new plant settles in.
“The application for the proposed designation will be publicly notified so that members of the public can comment on the plans, ensuring we can take lots of factors into account,” Cr Martin said.