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The plans were outlined in the council’s draft 10-Year Plan released to the public in March. They aimed to address a range of issues including the replacement of old infrastructure and compliance with new environmental and drinking water standards.
In Te Awamutu, the council has indicated it will go ahead with a $24.5 million plan to update the Parallel Road treatment plant and take more water from the Waikato River for Te Awamutu. More than 75 per cent of submitters agreed with the proposal with the money to come from a 20-year loan.
If approved, work on the upgrade will begin in 2018/19 and will be completed in the 2019/20 financial year.
Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the council had not entirely discounted a second option which would involve taking 100 per cent of the Mangauika Stream and sourcing additional water from two new bores. This option would require a new treatment plant and pipes and would cost considerably less; $13 - $16 million.
“Given the potential savings involved, it would be reckless to discount this option completely without looking very hard at what is possible. So at this stage, we have asked staff to do some further investigation, particularly around the likelihood of getting enough good quality bore water,” he said.
“We have budgeted $600,000 for this work next year.”
Both options include improvements to the Pukerimu treatment plant which will benefit Ohaupo households, rural and commercial users, including industrial users at the airport.
The council has also signalled it will go ahead with a $9.4 million upgrade of the Cambridge water treatment plant and pipelines to allow for future growth and improve water pressure. It will involve upgrading the Karapiro treatment plant and trunk pipelines to Cambridge north.
Mylchreest said all the options outlined to the community had made it clear that water use in Waipa needed to be reduced to around 190 litres per person, per day. Currently people in Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Kihikihi and Pirongia were using between 210 – 250 litres per day, he said.
“By reducing how much water we use in the first place and managing water wisely, we can avoid spending more money than we need to on future infrastructure upgrades. That’s what our planning and costings are based on and it’s important people realise that,” he said.
Spending plans will not be confirmed until the 10-Year Plan is signed off by council at the end of this month.
All media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell 027 507 7599