Planting day celebrates treatment plant progress

Volunteers and Commissioners Shad Rolleston (centre) and Bill Wasley (right) get stuck in at the Waiari planting day on Saturday, October 2. Supplied image.

A group of passionate people put their hands in the dirt for a community planting day to celebrate progress on the Waiari water treatment plant.

The treatment plant is a landmark project for Tauranga City Council and when it comes into production in late-2022, will be able to supply 30,000 additional households with high-quality drinking water.

The group of local residents, iwi representatives and council staff got a behind-the-scenes look at the construction site for the new treatment facility on October 2.

Then, with the plant’s 10 million-litre water reservoir as backdrop, they got stuck-in planting manuka, kawakawa, harakeke and other native plants, enhancing the environment for future years.

Tauranga City Council Commissioner Bill Wasley says the event was a great opportunity for the community to get a close-up look at what’s involved in building a treatment plant.

“Projects on this scale don’t happen often and take a significant investment. For people to be able to see the plant under construction really brings home the sheer size and complexity of the build, and the effort and resources needed to make it happen.”

Another commissioner getting a hands-on perspective was Shad Rolleston, who says the planting day was also a great way to include the community in the project.

“Construction largely happens out of sight and for people to be invited onsite, be able to ask the project team questions and play a small part in the project was a great way to engage.”

Construction of the Waiari water treatment plant started in 2018 after several years of planning and preparation.

Progress has been good, despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on construction staff availability and delays in material supplies.

Construction in numbers:

  •   •  700 piles were needed to build the foundations for the water intake at the Waiāri Stream;

  •   •  30,000m3 of pre-load material was used to compact the ground to support the structural load of the treatment facility;

  •   •  22km of new water main pipeline is being installed, connecting the new plant to the existing supply network;

  •   •  380m3 of concrete was used for the floor of the new reservoir, to take the weight of up to 10 million litres of treated water;

  •   •  22 sub-contractors have been engaged to supply expertise and resources.

The new plant will service the Papamoa coastal strip and Te Tumu growth areas and will add to resilience to Tauranga City Council’s water supply.

It will also provide future backup for the Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s water supply.

More information on the Waiari Water Supply Scheme is available on

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