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Lifting the lid on a water reservoir

Nearly one million litres of water were emptied from one of Martinborough’s four reservoirs as part of a recent maintenance project.

Wellington Water – working on behalf of South Wairarapa District Council – lifted the roof with a 100-tonne crane, emptied 920,000 litres of water, installed 650 square metres of new lining on the walls, floor, and ceiling, and reinforced the exterior wall.

Wellington Water’s chief advisor for drinking water Laurence Edwards said the project would improve the town’s water resilience.

“They provide sufficient water storage to help us get through significant events such as storms, earthquakes, and power cuts,” Edwards said.

“They enable greater operational flexibility, allowing us to turn treatment plants off for maintenance without impacting the supply of water to communities.”

Edwards said the reservoir experiences general wear and tear over time, so routine maintenance ensured the water supply remains operational.

Work on the reservoir began in February, with water currently being chlorinated and tested for safety.

While the work has already been completed, the refilling process will take another three weeks, after which point it
will come back into service.

The four Martinborough reservoirs store over 3 million litres of water, enough for two to four days’ supply.

Edwards said reservoir construction and maintenance were important projects, not just for building network resilience but also for ensuring there would be sufficient water for a growing population in the years ahead.

Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls
Flynn Nicholls is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age who regularly writes about education. He is originally from Wellington and is interested in environmental issues and public transport.

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