Thursday, July 18, 2024

Waimangaroa water solution flows

Buller District Council has resolved to proceed with the Waimangaroa Water Supply Conns Creek Upgrade, selecting the value engineered Alternative C as the preferred solution.

Waimangaroa currently has an untreated water supply sourced from Conns Creek. It is under a permanent Boil Water Notice due to public health risk, and is also vulnerable to loss of supply, poor water quality and maintenance hazards.

There are around 140 water connections serving a population of approximately 250 residents. Council says the existing system does not meet the criteria for a safe, reliable and adequate water supply.

Council previously resolved to proceed with the Conns Creek Upgrade and said yesterday’s decision was a pragmatic balance between Council’s obligations under the Health Act to meet Drinking Water Standards and recognising the affordability challenges for the Waimangaroa community.

“Alternative C will be a compliant system since it includes a Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and treated water storage, while being more selective for the raw water system with only priority upgrades to improve durability and resilience,” it said in a statement.

The approved budget to complete the next phase is $1.95 million, which includes $450,000 contingency for estimate and event risk.

Council says $400,000 will be invested into the raw water system and up to $900,000 for the WTP and treated water storage. The balance of $200,000 is provisioned for project delivery.

Council had approved $1.45. million for the project last year and rated accordingly in the recent LTP. It says the additional budget and costs incurred to date will be factored into rating calculations for the next annual plan. Council also resolved to investigate and prepare financial options for community consultation prior to that rate setting process.

“This decision represents Council’s best efforts to satisfy our obligations as water suppliers whist being pragmatic about the options, cost and risks of Alternative C,” said Mayor Jamie Cleine.

“These are difficult decisions, but after 12 years it was surely time to commit to a way forward. We have also made it very clear that we expect to have a hard look at the Three Waters Reforms and any other options to ease the cost on the Waimangaroa community before setting any new rate as part our annual plan in 2022.”

The project will now proceed with the optimised raw water system upgrade using local specialists under the early contractor involvement model. Council says the WTP will be tendered via open market, with expressions of interest already received from industry vendors.

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