Waingake back on full production

Wednesday January 31, 2024

The Waingake Water Treatment Plant is back to full production pumping the summertime demand of city water from our dams.

The milestone is just two weeks shy of the first anniversary of Cyclone Gabrielle, which caused considerable damage to the water pipe and left the region’s two main water supply dams full of silt.

Emergency works were carried out to retrofit the treatment plant with a new filtration system to be able to treat silted water.

Mayor Rehette Stoltz attended a ceremony to mark the completion of these emergency works.

She says while this is great news, there is still a shortfall in meeting hot-day peak demands.

“Water is a precious resource and we encourage everyone to keep up those good water conserving habits they made last year during the water crisis. The water savings everyone achieved really made the difference to never running too low while the Waingake supply was interrupted.

“A huge amount of credit to get this project completed goes to our Drinking Water Manager Judith Robertson. Her total commitment and dedication to getting our water supply back to pre-Gabrielle levels and ensuring safe drinking water for our community is a fundamental driver for this project getting completed.”

The new lamella filters can remove a lot more silt from the source water. This makes the treatment plant more suitable to supply safe water when there are impacts from heavy rain changing the water quality from the supply dams and the Te Arai river intake. A vacuum system fitted underneath removes the silty sludge filtered from the water. A UV facility has also been installed at Waingake providing advanced disinfection.

“This makes us ahead of the curve for water safety and compliance measures.

“With everything in place, we can now provide summer volumes from Waingake and meet the new rules.

“To avoid water restrictions, or running our two water plants at the same time, please be mindful of water use.

“That’s not a special summer habit - that’s all the time to conserve the resource.”

The Waipaoa Treatment Plant can now be turned off, unless demand in the city escalates later this summer.

“There’s maintenance to do on the Waipaoa Treatment Plant after planned works were delayed because they must be done when the plant is off.

“We’re pleased to be seeing the end of these projects. There have been a lot of people involved and we’re thankful to all who helped.”