Tap water in Warkworth will easily match future growth needs and be less susceptible to contamination, following the completion of a new water treatment plant last month.
The new plant, managed by Watercare, is part of a $29 million network upgrade and is located on Sanderson Road, off Hudson Road.
Until December 6 last year, water was sourced from the Mahurangi River. However, the new plant draws water from an underground aquifer, with two bores reaching about 200 metres below ground level.
The water is AA Grade, the highest quality, and around three million litres can be pumped each day if necessary.
Watercare’s project manager for infrastructure delivery, Giorgos Lourmas, says the plant has been designed to cater for growth in the area.
“We have ensured there is enough room on site to double the size of each part of the operation and pump up to 8.4 million litres of water when it’s required,” Giorgos says.
“According to the Auckland Unitary Plan forecasts, this plant can have the capacity to service Warkworth through to at least 2051.”
To make sure water can be delivered consistently the plant has also been designed with back-up systems, including a diesel generator, dual pumps and dual chlorination rooms.
All of the systems are automated and can be operated remotely from the main Watercare office in Auckland.
All water collected is put through a station that uses chlorine gas to oxidise magnesium and iron content so those elements can be filtered out.
“The magnesium is not desirable to have in the water and iron can remove the colour from people’s laundry, so we remove them,” Giorgos says.
All piping is kept underground and carries the water to two 40 x 2 metre cylinders that allow chlorine to mix through the water – something which Giorgos says is essential.
“We need to make sure there is chlorine in the water when it comes out of the tap, as that’s acting as a disinfectant while it travels through the pipes,” he says.
Water is distributed via two reservoirs, with one at View Road and the other at Thompson Road.
The new plant is the largest outside of metropolitan Auckland and the first built for the Auckland region since 2002.
Its construction began in May of 2017 following a trial with a pilot plant at the same location.
Watercare project manager for infrastructure delivery Giorgos Lourmas in front of two of the plant’s four filters.
Chlorination rooms are a key feature for processing the water from the aquifer.