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A major upgrade of Invercargill’s main water pipeline is set to begin this month in an attempt to future-proof the city’s water supply.
The Branxholme pipeline upgrade will result in more than 10km of pipe being installed through several city streets, along a state highway and under two rivers.
Invercargill City Council group manager finance and assurance Michael Day said work would begin in North Rd this month and was expected to take about 18 months to complete.
The first stage of the project would involve the installation of a 7km section of pipe between Pomona Rd West, near Makarewa, and the Waikiwi Water Reservoir in Meyers Reserve, as well as a new 3.5km section of pipe between the Waikiwi reservoir and the city water tower in Gala St.
"This is a major piece of infrastructure work and council has set aside $25.35 million for this important project," Mr Day said.
"The existing pipeline is nearing the end of its range of service life and needs to be replaced to ensure the continuation of the city’s water service.
"The pipe there now was installed in 1958, so it’s timely to upgrade this key piece of infrastructure that supplies our city with water. The new pipes are designed to last for over a century, so we’re really doing our bit for the future."
A "drill shot", where specialist machinery lays pipeline underneath an existing water source, would be undertaken at the Waikiwi Stream and at the Waihopai River.
Pipe would also be laid through the Lorneville roundabout, in conjunction with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
There would probably be some disruption for residents living and travelling along the pipeline route.
They would be contacted and kept informed about what was happening, he said.