Ashhurst wastewater pipe opens

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 12:00 12/07/2014

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The commissioning of a pump station pushing Ashhurst's wastewater along a 8.6 kilometre pipeline to Palmerston North has been formally marked by the city council.

The $4.7 million pipeline that stops the discharge from oxidation ponds into the Manawatu River has been the most expensive single project the council has undertaken in the last two years.

Mayor Jono Naylor pressed the switch at the pump house yesterday during a brief ceremony attended by Palmerston North and Horizons councillors and staff and contractors.

"I can sympathise with these machines, which know what it means to push muck up hill."

The pumps have been in use since June 4, operating for a few hours each night to take advantage of lower power prices and a period of low flows through the city's sewer network to the Totara Rd treatment plant.

Naylor said removing the discharge from the river and piping it to the main plant for a higher level of treatment was in keeping with the spirit of the Manawatu River Leaders Accord.

The 280 millimetre pipeline has been designed with capacity to cope with growth in Ashhurst and to meet demand from Kelvin Grove and the planned Whakarongo residential areas. It slopes uphill to connect to the main city system at Rosalie Tce.

Water and waste services manager Rob Green said the ponds would still be used for storing Ashhurst's wastewater during the day and allowing solids to settle out.

The valve that allowed wastewater to discharge into the Manawatu River had been closed off, and signs warning people not to swim near the discharge point were no longer needed.

Horizons strategy and regulation group manager Nic Peet said it was encouraging to see the council working to remove wastewater from the river. "To concentrate it all in one place where there is capacity for better treatment is a sound decision."

Longburn's wastewater discharge will soon be removed from the river, with one of two pumps there already switched to the $600,000 pipeline to Totara Rd, and the other due to follow in a couple of weeks' time.

Addressing Bunnythorpe's wastewater would be the next project.

Green said the Totara Rd plant had been designed to cope with the extra flows. It had been running at about 75 per cent of its capacity before the Ashhurst switch.

The Ashhurst and Longburn wastewater would add about 2 per cent to the total.

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- Manawatu Standard

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