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Long-Term Benefits To New Otane to Waipawa Wastewater Pipeline Project

Tuki Tuki River

Work on a new wastewater pipe between Otane and Waipawa is scheduled to commence next month.
Stage one of the project, valued at $1.15m, will see a 3.2km section of new wastewater pipeline installed between the two towns, the first third of the pipeline which will eventually transfer Otane’s wastewater to Waipawa for treatment and discharge.
The change to the use of project funding was adopted by Council late last year, as an alternative to the planned upgrade works to the existing Otane Waste Water Treatment Plant, the decision and outcome is consistent with the values of Project THRIVE and in particular being environmentally sustainable, constructing durable infrastructure, and applying generational thinking to decisions.
“We are not prepared to invest in band aid solutions for this Community,” Says Monique Davidson, Chief Executive of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council. “We need confidence when we invest we are making a long term sustainable solution that meets the test of durable infrastructure for best environmental outcomes.”
“The Otane to Waipawa Wastewater Pipeline project will achieve better long term outcomes in improving the treatment of Otane’s wastewater, by piping to a collective treatment site in Waipawa, rather than an isolated plant in Otane,” says Ms Davidson.
Commencement of the project is planned to start just a few months after the completion of Otane’s new Alternate Drinking Water Supply, which was commissioned in December 2019 and connects the Waipawa and Otane drinking water networks via 5.2km of new pipeline. “By procuring resources to install sections of wastewater pipe along the same route as the Otane Alternate Drinking Water Supply, Council has been afforded a significant saving of approximately $200,000 in site establishment, mobilisation and procurement costs,” says Ms Davidson.
Currently, Otane’s treated wastewater discharges through a farm drain to the Papanui stream. The Otane to Waipawa Wastewater Pipeline project promises to be the first step to removing direct discharge of wastewater from Central Hawke’s Bay’s waterways.
“Council are thinking long-term with this project, not only financially, but environmentally too” says Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay. “We know how important it is to the community that the disposal of our wastewater stays out of our rivers. We hear you, and this is part of our vision for the future too. Stage one of the Otane to Waipawa Wastewater Pipeline represents our commitment to this. When a tender price in excess of $1M was presented to us for the upgrade of the Otane Wastewater Treatment Plant, and it was clear that it still wouldn’t be able to meet our consent or environmental expectations consistently, we knew we needed to change direction.”
The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is working proactively to address challenges both in the short and longer term of its Wastewater plants. Three waters, including Wastewater is a significant focus for the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, as noted in the 2018 Long Term Plan and in #thebigwaterstory. It is one of the highest priority areas of focus for Council.
The Otane to Waipawa Wastewater Pipeline is an infrastructure project as part of #thebigwaterstory capital works programme. 10 projects were completed in 2019, including the flagship Takapau Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and Otane Alternate Drinking Water Supply projects. 13 more projects are planned for 2020.
The Council’s 2021-2031 Long Term Plan will consider wastewater projects including the next stages of the Otane to Waipawa Wastewater Pipeline, and will go to consultation with the community later this year.

17 July 2020

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