By Alan Tristram
The Kapiti Coast Council says the appeal period for the River Recharge Project has closed with no appeals lodged.
Resource consent for the project was approved in mid-September and a tender was sent out yesterday for the first stage of construction.
This will include the installation of bores and pipes, as well as an upgrade of the Waikanae Water Treatment Plant to replace aged infrastructure and increase its capacity to cope with additional demand for water.
This work is expected to start early next year.
“It’s great we can now get on with actually constructing the new water supply solution,” says Group Manager Sean Mallon. “This not only secures water supply but also a consistent quality of water for Waikanae, Parparaumu and Raumati residents.”
Water is currently taken from Waikanae River at the treatment plant, treated and piped through the reticulation system to houses and businesses.
Increasing take from river
The new project will allow Council to increase the amount of water it takes from the river during very dry summers without affecting river levels or required minimum flow. This is because groundwater will be pumped into the river downstream of the treatment plant to replace the additional water that was taken out to meet demand.
Once the new system is fully operational, there should be no need to supplement drinking water with groundwater in times of drought.
River Recharge will be a staged development reflecting demand, so costs will be spread over a long period. A critical part of the solution is reducing peak water use to 400 litres per person each day.
The project was chosen out of 41 options during a long period of consultation, as the best solution to the district’s water supply needs for the next 50 years.
Resource consent has been issued for 35 years (the most allowed under the Resource Management Act). After this, a new consent will have to be applied for.