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Water supply resilience upgrade

A total of $260,000 has been approved by the Whakatāne District Council for additional work on the water supply systems serving Ōhope and elevated residential areas of Whakatāne.

The figure is being put forward as a solution to reduce the potential for future supply interruptions.

The work to improve the resilience of the supply network will be undertaken in conjunction with the renewal of the water main between the Ōtarawairere reservoir and the Ōhope Road/Pohutukawa Avenue intersection.

The work along Ōhope Road is expected to be completed in December, ahead of the busy holiday season. Further work to install and commission new valves at the reservoir will follow in early-2019.

In a report received by the Council’s Projects and Services Committee last week, Capital Projects Manager Jim Finlay says that as a result of the water main project, a number of supply network improvement opportunities had been identified. These included a revised design and valve system which would allow the Ōtarawairere reservoir to be bypassed, if necessary, with Ōhope consumers supplied directly from the Whakatāne scheme; and the elevated residential areas above Whakatāne to be supplied from the Ōhope scheme.

“The improved design would avoid potential, lengthy water supply disruptions, such as the outage experienced in Ōhope during the April 2017 storm, when the supply line at the reservoir was severed.”

Other design limitations highlighted by the water main replacement work will also be remedied, including the relocation of valves and valve connections at the reservoir, to make future maintenance work on the system easier and more economical to accomplish.

Committee members adopted a recommendation that the extended scope of the water main project be approved, with the additional cost to be met within the Council’s existing 2018/19 Three Waters renewal and capital budgets.

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