Work is underway to protect Wairoa’s sole water source by replacing and realigning the pipework at the Frasertown water intake plant.
Fulton Hogan has been contracted to complete the work with the pipeline compromised by the eroding riverbank.
The water intake plant, just north of Frasertown, is where water is pumped out of the river and piped to the water treatment plant in Frasertown village.
Wairoa District Council interim chief executive Kitea Tipuna said the pipeline was close to the river edge and followed the route of the old State Highway 38.
Over the years the slips and scouring out of the riverbank have moved closer to the pipeline increasing the risk to the water intake process. The first 70 metres of pipeline is particularly vulnerable with the riverbank having eroded just metres away from the pipeline.
The old SH38 was realigned decades ago due to its vulnerability to flooding because of its proximity to the river and the eroding riverbank, but at that time the pipeline was left in place.
Mr Tipuna said this work is about ensuring Wairoa’s asset is future proofed, so we don’t run the risk of losing our ability to produce water for our township and businesses.
“It wasn’t that many years ago that we lost a section of our pipeline to river erosion and this work is being completed to avoid this type of disruption from reoccurring.”
Realigning the pipe on the shoulder of SH38 will avoid risk zones and move the pipeline well away from the riverbank and out of the flood zone of the river.
The realignment will stretch for 390 metres and include replacement of pipe using new PE high strength pressure rated pipe. The pipeline is a continuous length with the 12m sections of pipe electrofusion welded together.
It is hoped the work will be completed over the next few weeks with the final changeover not expected to disrupt water supply.
15 October 2020
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