Favourable contract reduces water-scheme cost

The cost of upgrading three East Otago water supplies to meet drinking-water standards has been reduced after the Waitaki District Council awarded a contract for a major component of the work.

The council is amalgamating the Palmerston, Dunback and Goodwood water supplies into one scheme, a more cost-effective way to upgrade water quality than keeping them separate.

The original estimate for the project was $1.8 million, but this has been reduced to $1.45 million after the council awarded a $795,470 contract to Whitestone Contract Ltd for a new pipeline linking the three supplies to an upgraded water treatment plant at Palmerston.

That was the lowest of nine tenders received for the pipeline construction, ranging up to $1.2 million.

Water and wastewater manager Martin Pacey said the work was scheduled for this financial year, part of a $21 million upgrade of all 21 water supplies the council operates to meet drinking-water standards by 2014.

Some have already been completed, including the $12 million Oamaru supply upgrade and a $1.5 million pipeline linking the Weston and Enfield supplies to the Oamaru treatment station.

The Palmerston-Dunback-Goodwood project is the next major one. Once the three supplies are linked, they will take water from Palmerston's Mill Rd bores and the treatment plant will be upgraded with filtration and ultraviolet irradiation.

The work will be funded with $460,000 from development contributions, $715,000 from depreciation and $275,000 from loans. The loan will have to be repaid by the 1400 consumers on the amalgamated scheme.

The council approved the project last year after it investigated several options to upgrade the three supplies, then consulted the three communities.

Amalgamating the schemes with one water source and one treatment plant was the cheapest option. Keeping them separate and upgrading each would have cost up to $2.7 million.

Combining them using the Palmerston water also future-proofed the Goodwood and Dunback schemes, allowing for growth.

A combined water scheme committee will be appointed for the amalgamated scheme.

- david.bruce@odt.co.nz



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