Warkworth’s water supply will be switching from the Mahurangi River to underground aquifers by the end of the year.
Watercare’s new $16 million water treatment plant in Sanderson Road is well on its way to completion, with most of the building, pipe work, storage tanks and filtration equipment already in place.
The site has consent to draw up to three million litres a day from two bores and can treat 35 litres of water per second, almost twice the rate of the existing plant in Browns Road. It will be able to supply up to 16,000 more people and has the capacity for further expansion in future.
Water supply operations manager Priyan Perera says local residents might notice a change in taste when the water supply switches in the summer, due to the presence of natural minerals.
“The water clarity will be 50 times better than the river. We have to remove iron and manganese, and people will notice a difference in taste. But it’s much better quality,” he says. “UV filters will help disinfect the water, as well as chlorination so residents can be assured they will be receiving the highest quality A Grade water.”
He says the plant has been designed and built to cope with future population growth and has comprehensive back-up systems in place in case of power cuts or emergencies.
“We’ve built a lot of resilience into this plant. Not many things can knock this thing over.”
The old treatment plant on SH1 will be decommissioned and demolished once the new plant is fully up and running.