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Otane to Waipawa Wastewater Pipeline Project Underway

Walker Road GW Monitoring Bores Drilling

Work on a new wastewater pipeline between Otane and Waipawa has officially commenced this week.
Stage one of the project, valued at $1.15m, will see a 3.5km 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.
Fulton Hogan have been contracted to undertake this work which is expected to be completed by October 2020.
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 Wastewater 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  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.
“The result of this project will be that the towns of Waipawa and Otane are set up for smart growth to benefit incoming generations. Ensuring that our infrastructure is durable, while also being environmentally responsible, is a priority.”
Commencement of the project comes six 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.
The Council continue to investigate options to enable effective and informed designs for the proposed land discharge scheme and the new Wastewater Treatment Plant. As part of this, groundwater monitoring bores have been installed on Walker Road in Waipawa. The bores provide valuable information into the design and feasibility of the proposed land discharge site.
“The Walker Road site forms a key component of our options analysis as a potential land discharge site. The community will be engaged with on this over the coming months, to ensure we deliver on community, cultural and environmental aspirations,” says Ms Davidson.
“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 we will commence pre engagement with the community later this year.

17 July 2020

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