New Morrinsville Water Treatment Plant on track
A new bore in the north east of Morrinsville is in place and the resource consent from Waikato Regional Council will allow Council to treat and supply additional water for Morrinsville.
As part of the 2021-31 Long Term Plan consultation Council asked the community if they wanted one or two additional water sources in Morrinsville and 63% of submitters preferred two new supply sources. Further work identified that it would be more cost effective and result in the same amount of water by taking more water from one of the new bores, instead of drilling two bores with smaller water takes.
“What’s important is that we’re developing a more resilient water supply network. Having the Lockerbie source allows us to continue supplying water to the town even if we have issues at the Waterworks Road plant,” says Council’s water manager Karl Pavlovich.
Council aims to have the Permanent Water Treatment Plant final design finalised by September 2023, and operational by mid next year. In the meantime, to help reduce any effects a dry summer might have on Morrinsville’s water supply a Temporary (containerised) Water Treatment Plant has been placed on site and the pipework for the bore head works is almost complete.
Pavlovich is pleased with progress. “There are still some checks and minor works to finalise the installation but we’re expecting the temporary plant to be commissioned this month with a view to having it in full time production for the coming summer. This additional water supply will feed straight into the existing water supply for Morrinsville.”
“A permanent water treatment plant takes a lot more time to get the necessary approvals and consents to build than the temporary option. The benefit of having a permanent water treatment plant is that it will be able to treat four times the amount of drinking water than what the temporary set up can.”
The additional water supply provides greater water security but does not mean the end to water restrictions. “We don’t have access to unlimited water,” says Pavlovich. “Our consents (with Waikato Regional Council) limit the amount of water we can take, and that’s why limiting its use will continue to happen when there’s a need to lower water demand. Water’s a precious resource and restrictions are part of Council’s overall water management strategy and are used to manage water demand at peak times of the year. However, we’ll be aiming to manage our water supplies to minimise level 3 and 4 restrictions in future.”
Council is also working on a “Water Master Plan”. This plan will assess the district’s current infrastructure and water use, and provide recommendations for ensuring continued supply of safe, clean drinking water to growing communities within the district for the next 50 years.