Water treatment plant upgrades in full flow

12 October 2021

The water treatment plants in Dannevirke, Woodville and Eketāhuna are being upgraded to ensure ongoing compliance with New Zealand Drinking water standards and to meet future demands.

In Dannevirke, the civil construction works have been completed. With all the groundwork now in place, installation of sand filters, tanks, and pipe racks, is well underway and commissioning of the water treatment plant expected to finish in December. This involves systematically checking that every element of the treatment plant works properly before going live, including mechanical and electrical components, instrumentation as well as the filtration systems at the heart of the treatment plant. This will involve engineers, local contractors, local suppliers, Council staff and Council’s alliance partner, Filtec.

Delivery is being completed through a collaborative model between Tararua District Council and Filtec water treatment specialists, called the FilTar Alliance. Where possible local contractors are being used. In Dannevirke and Woodville, the civil construction works are done by local contractors Morris and Bailey.

Marco Alben, the FilTar Alliance Performance Manager explains that planning has been a key priority; “Despite COVID lockdowns and a shortage of building materials supplies across New Zealand, we have managed to stay on track with our timelines so far. All equipment for the Dannevirke and Woodville plants has been pre-ordered so that supply chain disruptions are minimised. In addition, a lot of work has gone into planning to make sure any disruptions for water users are kept to an absolute minimum.”

Woodville’s water treatment plant was built in the 1960’s and received its last major upgrade in 2010. Installation of new tanks, pipes, filters and other equipment will start once the civil construction works have finished. Commissioning is planned in December, pending COVID alert levels and our ability to operate.
Eketāhuna’s water treatment plant upgrade will include filtration systems to manage turbid source water and reduce discolouration of tap water. Civil construction is expected to start early in the new year.

Tararua District Council Mayor, Tracey Collis explains: “Future-proofing our drinking water system is one of the most important things we can do as a Council. These upgrades will make our water treatment plants more robust and provide greater resilience when it comes to water security. This is especially critical considering the growth in our District, and the increased climate challenges we face.”

In 2020, Council received $5.02m from the Department of Internal Affairs for investment in Three Waters (water, wastewater and stormwater). The combined cost of the Three Water treatment plant upgrade projects is estimated to be $2.5 million. The remaining funds from the stimulus grant will be used for further assessments, planning and improvements to water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.