Waipa District Council has taken first steps to secure a new water source for Te Awamutu.
Today Council approved spending around $1 million on a new bore on council-owned land at Frontier Road. The approval is subject to final tests with results available in late December.
The new bore is one of three been sunk by Council – including two this year – in efforts to secure more water for Te Awamutu and surrounding areas during peak demand. The other test bores sunk at Te Tahi and Pirongia cannot supply enough water and have been discounted.
Te Awamutu’s water is currently sourced from the Mangauika Stream on Mt Pirongia. Council can only take a finite amount of water from the stream under the terms of its resource consent from the Waikato Regional Council. It means the Council struggles to provide enough water to the town, especially during summer. This year, sprinklers in Te Awamutu were completely banned from January 22 and water restrictions were not lifted until early April.
Early indications suggest the new Frontier Road bore could yield up to one million litres of water per day – enough to service 1,000 households. If the test results are acceptable, the test bore will be turned into a production bore and the water treated to meet national drinking water standards.
Council sunk two bores earlier this year after outlining it as a second option in its 10-Year Plan. The option needs Council to secure an additional six million litres of water per day, as well as take 100 per cent of water from the Mangauika Stream. If successful, it could save between $10 – $13 million and be a viable alternative to a $24.5 million project to upgrade the Parallel Road treatment plant, take more water from the Waikato River and pipe that water to Te Awamutu.
Group manager service delivery Barry Bergin said while the Frontier Road bore was looking promising, further water sources were still required. It was likely a fourth test bore will be sunk near the Taylor’s Hill reservoir in the new year, he said.
Waipa District Council would be required to get a new resource consent from the Waikato Regional Council to take 100 per cent of the Mangauika Stream as well as the bore water.
“So there’s still some hurdles to jump yet but at this stage, it’s an option worth pursuing.”
The Council has already committed to a $5 million upgrade of the existing treatment plant at Pukerimu, scheduled for 2018/19. Upgrading works are also planned for Cambridge’s water treatment plants and pipelines to allow for future growth.
Predictions of a dry summer have seen the whole Waipa District, Hamilton City and Waikato District put at water alert level one, meaning sprinklers can only be used between 6am-8am and 6pm-8pm. Hand held hosing is still permitted at any time