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Awatoto wastewater outfall repairs complete

Published: 5 February 2021

outfall repair 2

The NZ Diving & Salvage Ltd crew in the process of lowering the metal box, part of the manufactured repair solution, to the outfall pipe. The box weighs over a tonne.

Repairs to the leaking Awatoto wastewater outfall pipe are now complete.

The outfall project, which was weather dependent, began in September and was originally expected to take a month. However, when the New Zealand Diving and Salvage Ltd crew got on site, it was clear the design solutions would need to be modified.

Further time was needed for the bespoke parts to be manufactured by Warner Engineering in Whakatu. The original deadline for repairs was 30 October, but the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council extended this to accommodate the evolving plan.

“It is wonderful to see this project completed. There is still plenty of work to be done, with our next major wastewater project being the construction of ponds next to the treatment plant. We may need to use these during future shutdowns for maintenance, if repairs are needing to be carried out, and to take any overflow on standby for stormwater events.

“We will also continue to develop our plan to replace the outfall,” says Councillor Keith Price, Sustainable Napier committee chair.

NCC will continue to monitor the pipe’s performance with drone and dive inspections.

Not including the repair project, Council has spent close to a million dollars on proactive maintenance of the outfall in the past two financial years. The repaired leaks were both discovered during routine inspections.

A leak in the outfall, which was constructed in 1972, was first discovered in 2018, 700m offshore at a point where the pipe was joined, followed by the discovery of another closer to shore in April last year.

The first leak to be found occurred at the point where the two sections of pipe were joined. A fibreglass joint was installed at this point in 1984.

In June 2020 NCC adopted a series of wastewater related resolutions. This included bringing forward the replacement of the outfall, and increasing levels of service and linking this to improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The Wastewater Treatment and Outfall Masterplan has been developed and will help to determine future requirements for the full replacement of the outfall. This replacement could cost between $20 million and 40 million, and a detailed investigation needs to be carried out to both make sure the preferred option is the right one, and Council has a more accurate cost estimate.

Further information about this project, including estimated costs, is expected to be included in the next Long Term Plan, later this year.

The repair and wastewater storage projects have been funded from reserves so there is no effect on rates.

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