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Wairoa's water reservoirs get an upgrade

Wairoa’s new water reservoir in the Tawhara Valley will be commissioned and will come online next week, adding much needed resilience for the Wairoa community.

The new water reservoir will mean the town can now store about 100 per cent more treated water than is currently possible.

Water Reservoir 1

Peter Free, the principal water engineer for GHD (the company rolling out the upgrade), said Wairoa residents should not see much difference in their water supply and pressure during this phase.

However, incoming water pressure could reduce slightly.

“If residents do notice a difference that is causing them issues, Council has arranged for Wairoa Plumbing to visit their property and make minor adjustments to their Ajax valve which feeds their hot water cylinder,” Mr Free said.

This assessment and adjustment service will be provided free to residents.

Council’s Engineering Manager Jamie Cox says the current high-quality drinking water supply won’t change as this project is focused on increasing water storage.

In late 2015, Wairoa District Council was successful in obtaining a water supply subsidy, of $1.6 million, from the Ministry of Health to upgrade the storage of treated drinking water for the town.

The total project cost was just under $2.5 million.

This upgrade will also allow the Frasertown treatment plant to avoid treating poorer-quality source water at times of dirty water events in the river.

“We saw the benefits of the new reservoir when it was commissioned to come online earlier this year due to a significant weather event, which meant that Wairoa couldn’t produce water because of turbidity at the source in the Wairoa river,” Mr Cox said.

“Because Wairoa couldn’t produce any water for about two days, the reservoir was brought online to assist with providing water to the town... it has certainly proven it’s benefit to ensuring Wairoa’s water resilience.

“The improved resilience of the system means that it will counteract any potential water supply outage and allow us to reduce the amount of chemicals used to treat turbid source water.

“I’m very pleased that the project came in under budget and I want to also thank all those involved in delivering a great outcome for the Wairoa community.”

The majority of the subsidy funds were used to construct a large 3675 m3 new reservoir near the current reservoirs above Tawhara Road.

This reservoir is located at a slightly lower level than the current reservoirs and the new pressure regime for the townships water supply may affect the operation of several homes located across higher parts of the network.

To counter this council has installed mini pump stations at two locations to booster water pressure to two higher areas of houses.

If you are experiencing any pressure problems, you can call Wairoa Plumbing on 06 838 6393.

25 August 2017

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