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Updates on our water infrastructure

This page provides an update on the progress of our drinking water projects, and the decisions Council makes on drinking water issues.

Updates on Napier’s drinking water

Monday 23 December 2019

At its 19 December 2019 meeting, Napier City Council received a report titled Procurement Strategy to engage a consultant to complete a chlorine-free drinking water review.

The rest of the resolutions were to:

b.     Adopt the review outcome, being to develop two or more defensible options for safe drinking water to take to the community.

c.     Approve the procurement strategy to engage a consultant to complete a drinking water review for Napier City Council, which includes a two stage procurement process to provide a solution that addresses the review outcomes including a Registration of Interest (ROI) followed by a Request for Proposal.

d.    Note the inclusion of an independent probity advisor in the process.

e.     Investigate Ministry of Health funding opportunities for the report, noting the implications of being leaders in the investigation of a chlorine-free network under the new regulations, noting all works will continue as scheduled while this in undertaken.

f.      Note that a communications strategy will be developed for all drinking water and presented to council in early 2020.

g.     That Cr Simpson be appointed as observer on ROI process.

What is the objective of the Review?

To develop two fully-costed options for delivering safe drinking water to Napier, to take out for consultation with the community, to help Council decide whether we continue with a network dosed with chlorine, or one without.

In short, the options that will be assessed will be:

  1. to maintain the current Council planned programmes of work with chlorine as a barrier against contamination under the new Water Safety Plan (WSP) framework, and,
  2. to enhance the water network to a standard where disinfection residual (chlorine) can be removed with no negative impact on water quality or public safety to consumers.

The two options will be based around the requirements of the new Water Safety Plan Framework and the chlorine-free option will be developed with guidance from the Ministry of Health to ensure that any future chlorine-free option would be acceptable to them. 

How long is the Review expected to take?

While we hope to have the review completed by August 2020, this is dependent on several factors, including how soon we can engage a consultant.

How much will it cost?

$200,000 has been set aside for the review.

There is around $30 million for new and replacement water network infrastructure allocated in the Long Term Plan 2018-28. 

There are a number of key pieces of work that are underway or recently completed that will inform our longer term strategy and will provide inputs into the Chlorine-Free Drinking Water Review.

The projects currently underway or completed for planning purposes are:

  • Asset Management Maturity Assessment – January 2019
  • Completion of a calibrated Water Supply Model – completed December 2019
  • Draft Strategic Water Supply Plan– received November 2019
  • New Water Safety Plan Framework Gap Analysis – underway, completion expected March 2020
  • 3 Waters Review – underway, financial modelling will inform the Chlorine-Free Review.

There are also several priority water infrastructure projects, that address the four key elements of the Water Supply Master Plan (safe water, clean water, sufficient pressure, resilient network) that are also progressing.

Priority capital projects involve the development of two new bore fields, with the main drivers for this project being water quality and resilience. The bore sites are being shortlisted. The top contenders are deemed to be very low in manganese which will likely mean that we do not need to provide manganese treatment with the associated capital expenditure and operational costs.

The bore fields are the start of the wider project to provide dedicated mains to our reservoirs which will then be used to gravity feed across the network in two zones, and will provide resilience and more consistent pressure. This will reduce the amount of network variability that results in dirty water. 

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