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Upgrade secures Carterton’s water resilience

Carterton’s Frederick St Water Treatment Plant upgrade is now complete, meaning the town’s water demand will be met until at least 2043.

Elected members at this week’s Carterton District Council [CDC] Policy and Projects Committee commended the work done by council staff and contractors to reach the milestone for the project, costed at about $921,000.

In a recent report to the Policy and Projects Committee, infrastructure services manager Johannes Ferreira said it has been “a challenging and lengthy project, however, the outcome is significant to the community”.

The completion of the project means the Frederick St Water Treatment Plant is the town’s primary water source, which has removed the dependence on the very sensitive surface take at the Kaipatangata Water Treatment Plant.

This improves the district’s resilience in terms of water supply. Originally, the Frederick St Water Treatment Plant [bores] was designed to only be a supplementary plant and source to the Kaipatangata Water Treatment Plant.

However, due to the environmental constraints of a surface take, over time CDC has become more dependent on the Frederick St plant.

The plant upgrade project was launched in 2019 due to the increase in usage and non-compliance with NZ Drinking Water Standards.

“The project was designed to be delivered through several stages and over several years, as any work to the plant had to be completed so that the plant remained operational,” Ferreira said.

“The Kaipatangata Water Treatment Plant sensitivity to the weather [in a historically high wet two years] made this an extremely challenging project.”

In August 2021, Carterton councillors voted to bring an alternative water source options analysis forward from the 2024-25 budget to the 2021-22 year.

The objective of the study was to develop a robust water supply resilience strategy for Carterton that allowed for growth and seasonal fluctuations in water availability.

About $287,000 of funding for the options analysis was put aside at the time.

The report analysis found that demand on Carterton’s water supply was expected to increase by about 25 per cent between 2020 and 2043.

In April this year, CDC put a stop to all work related to the development and implementation of an alternative water source after an investigation found that, under the current conditions, “we have sufficient water supply for future demand [2043]”.


Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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