Decision on water pipeline next week

A final decision on building a pipeline costing almost $600,000 to take Oamaru water to Weston consumers will be made by the Waitaki District Council at its meeting on Wednesday.

The project is part of extensive upgrading of water supplies throughout the district to meet the Government's drinking water standards and will feed water from the Oamaru water treatment plant in Reservoir Rd across country to supply the Weston community.

When the Oamaru water treatment plant was upgraded at a cost of about $12 million to meet the standards, extra capacity was built in to meet the future needs of the town and other communities.

The council recently called tenders for the construction of a pipeline from Oamaru to Weston, with prices ranging from $595,886 to $805,811.

Water and wastewater asset manager Martin Pacey is now recommending the council accept the lowest tender from Downer EDI Works Ltd to build the pipeline. Other tenders would be called for elements of the upgrade.

Work on the 5.5km-long pipeline was expected to start in the middle of next month and the council aimed to have water running by mid-March.

Agreement had been reached with "about a dozen" landowners for the pipeline to go through their properties.

The tender price was within the budget for upgrading the Weston and Enfield water supplies. The council had originally budgeted $2.5 million for the upgrade, which could now be reduced to $1.25 million.

Enfield has yet to make a decision whether to take water from the Oamaru treatment plant or carry out its own upgrade.

Mr Pacey said the council would consult consumers on the Enfield scheme before a decision was made.

The cost of the new pipeline would be met by a loan and depreciation, with Oamaru and Weston consumers paying that back.

In return, Weston ratepayers would share in the repayment of a loan to upgrade the Oamaru treatment plant and the cost of maintaining and operating it.

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