Rejection of pipeline likely

The Waihemo water working party is likely to rule out the previously proposed $28 million coastal pipeline from the Waitaki River and Oamaru to serve the Palmerston, Dunback and Goodwood areas.

That would follow a decision in October by the Waitaki District Council, which saw the pipeline as a way to relieve pressure on 10 community water supplies south of Oamaru, to drop the project.

Instead, the council, in conjunction with water supply committees and groups, is looking at upgrading existing supplies. It would only cost $7 million to provide a combination of individual and clustered water treatment facilities.

The council hopes to have proposals finalised so they can be included for public comment in the annual plan next year, after which a final decision will be made on the pipeline. A working party is to be set up by the council to consider options for water treatment and augmentation in the Palmerston-Waihemo area.

The working party would be set up to encourage dialogue between the Waihemo Community Board and the water schemes, especially in regard to possible linkages and water augmentation for serviced communities, Waitaki District Council strategy group manager Richard Mabon said in a report to the community board meeting to be held at Palmerston on Monday.

A draft programme of capital projects for water treatment has been prepared by district council staff. The Palmerston, Dunback and Goodwood water schemes are listed for capital work in 2010-11 and the Stoneburn scheme in 2013-14.

The costs would be likely to rule out the possibility of the coastal pipeline being extended from Oamaru to Palmerston, community board chairman Rod Philip, of Bushey, said.

The security of supply issue for the water supplies at Palmerston, Dunback and Goodwood would have to be sorted out, Mr Philip said. One option would be a storage dam, he said.

Board members and representatives of the Dunback and Goodwood rural water scheme consumer subcommittees will be part of the working party.

Each contributing body would have delegated authority to make recommendations in relation to capital expenditure on their schemes, Mr Mabon said.

The Goodwood and Dunback water schemes are at present fully subscribed.


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