Dannevirke Impounded Supply Public Water Meeting

20th November 2023

On Tuesday, 28th of November, a public meeting will be held to provide the community with an update on the Dannevirke Impounded Water Supply, and to answer your questions.  The meeting will be held at the Hub and is from 6.30pm-8.30pm.

Can’t make the meeting? Join our Facebook Live Q&A session on Wednesday 29th November from 6.30pm-7.30pm. Tune in to ask your questions and have them answered by our Elected Members and Project staff.

Below we have compiled a list of FAQ’s on the Dannevirke Impounded Supply project. For more information and updates on this ongoing project, please visit www.tararuadc.govt.nz/damrepair

What was decided at the recent extraordinary Council meeting about the Dannevirke Impounded Supply?

Council passed resolutions that included funding of $3.2 million for raw water pre-treatment and $400,000 to purchase a raw water storage tank and a further $2.5 million for a 6 million litre treated water storage tank.

Council also decided to delay the delay the decision whether to repair the Impounded Supply. This was due to outstanding geotechnical investigations, supply challenges with sourcing a pre-treatment facility and issues relating to the impounded supply liner system.

Why was pre-treatment and additional storage recommended?

The purpose of pre-treatment is so we can continue to treat water from the Tamaki River, even when the water becomes murky during heavy rain events. This should reduce the need to issue boil water notices. The extra water tanks will provide additional storage and resilience in periods of high-water turbidity and low river flows.

Why was it decided to delay the decision to repair the Impounded Supply and when will the repairs happen?

This is because we are unable to deploy pre-treatment before May 2024, and we still need the stored water in the Impounded Supply until that time. In addition, we don’t have all the information yet to make an informed decision as to whether to repair or not.

Will the community have the opportunity to have their say on this issue?

A public water meeting will be held on Tuesday 28th of November and a Facebook Live Q&A session will be held on Wednesday 29th of November. The focus on both of these meetings will be to answer questions from the community.

Due to the urgency of this issue, Council did not formally consult on installing the recommended pre-treatment and storage. However, Council expects to consult with the community next year to make decisions on the future of the Dannevirke Impounded Supply.

What will treating water directly from the Tamaki River involve – will the water still be safe to drink?

Yes, the water continues to be safe to drink. Samples are taken every week from different locations across Dannevirke and tested. Installing raw water pre-treatment will provide greater resilience during extreme weather conditions.

Could the impounded water supply fail?

After the temporary repairs in June this year, the impounded supply was stabilised, however, it has continued to present some deterioration and it is possible the volume of water held in the impounded supply will have to be reduced further. That is why Council has decided to install raw water pre-treatment and additional treated storage capacity. Our teams are monitoring the impounded supply daily to watch out for any further deterioration. The impounded supply is physically inspected every day and electronic data is monitored daily.

How do we pay for it?

The purchase and installation of the pre-treatment plant and storage tanks will be funded through a loan. This will reduce Council’s debt headroom. The principal amount of the loan and the interest will be repaid over time by ratepayers in our district.

How long will it take to repay this loan?

This debt is intergenerational – paid over the minimum of 20 years or the life of the assets.

Why will urban ratepayers that do not live in Dannevirke paying for this?

Council has multiple water and wastewater treatment facilities for communities in our District. It is not affordable for proper­ties connected to these schemes in each town in Tararua to pay for these costs themselves. That is why the operations, maintenance and improvement to these schemes are cross-subsided and prioritised based on needs.

How much rates will I have to pay because of the decisions made to date about the Dannevirke Impounded Supply? If the $6,100,000 loan is spread out over 20 years, the annual repayment will be around $368,190 (this includes GST and interest). That equates to about $63 annually for ratepayers connected to Council water schemes.