River pipeline idea dismissed

The Mahurangi River wastewater outfalls’ days are numbered.

Watercare has dismissed a suggestion that a new wastewater pipeline, part of a $135 million Warkworth wastewater upgrade, should run along the Mahurangi River.

Watercare is proposing to run the pipeline, connecting Warkworth to a new hi-tech plant in Snells Beach, along Sandspit Road.

However, the Mahurangi Action Group presented to the Rodney Local Board in December suggesting that the pipeline should follow an alternate route along the river.

Member Cimino Cole said it could be incorporated into a boardwalk, which would provide a six-kilometre long riverside pathway.

Watercare says the river route is more expensive and traverses sensitive areas.

“Geotechnical engineers have also identified a fault running through the river,” a spokesperson says. “It would prove extremely difficult to maintain a wastewater pipe in the area, long term.”

Watercare has lodged a resource consent to decommission the Warkworth wastewater plant and build a new plant in Snells Beach, which would treat sewage and then pump it to the existing ocean outfall at Martins Bay.

Watercare expects consents to be granted early this year and construction would start soon afterwards, and would be completed over about five years.

The goal is to have the new system up and running by 2022, when up to 290-hectares of land will be live-zoned for development in Warkworth.

Watercare proposes to build the new plant at the existing Snells-Algies wastewater plant with sufficient capacity to service both townships, over the requested 35 year consent term and beyond, using technology to produce high-quality treated wastewater suitable for discharge to the Hauraki Gulf.