Richmond's water is soon to taste better

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 12:58 13/05/2014

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A project is about to begin in Richmond that will provide drinking water to meet new standards, and will shore up supply in times of drought.

A ceremonial "sod turning" took place yesterday at the site in Richmond where construction is to start on the new $9.5 million Richmond water treatment plant to be built on the corner of McShane Rd and lower Queen St.

Tasman District Council spokesman Chris Choat said it was a "significant council investment necessary to meet security of supply and drinking water standards for one of the fastest growing towns in the country".

He said the budget for the project was allocated through the 2012 long term plan. The plant will be ready for commission by July next year, and will ensure a supply that will meet new drinking water standards.

Yesterday's ceremony was led by Mayor Richard Kempthorne and the site was blessed by Archdeacon Harvey Ruru. A Mauri stone will be positioned at the site closer to the time it will be operating. The council said the Mauri stone would acknowledge the significance to iwi of the blending of two water sources, and recognise the management of the water from the site.

The plant will combine the current two sources of Richmond water, which will give greater flexibility in the management the two water consents. This in turn should minimise urban restrictions in dry weather, the council said.

Tasman District Council utilities network engineer Kim Arnold said the plant would essentially allow the council to maximise how it managed two water takes, which in turn would allow for a bit more growth in Richmond. It would also provide greater security of supply in periods of drought.

He said the plant would differ from the filtration plant operated by Nelson city, in that it would not have to filter and treat water from a dam. The Richmond plant would take clean ground water from bores from the Richmond and Waimea supplies, mix them and sanitise it through an ultraviolet water purification system which would kill any pathogens.

Arnold said they would also have the ability to adjust the pH level in the water as one source was slightly higher in nitrates.

"The two main drivers of this are to meet required new drinking standards and maximise how we manage two water takes to allow for more growth in Richmond."

Arnold said the $9.5m budget would cover construction of the plant and associated infrastructure, including extensive new pipework, and a "reasonable size" reservoir behind the plant building.

He said the plant would be built to accommodate any need to shift the bores in future, to cope with future demand.

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Hawkins Infrastructure was awarded the contract to build the plant, with MWH contracted to provide specialist services.

Arnold said a lot of local companies would be involved, including Gibbons which would handle the building, plus Chings and Tasman Civil, which would be doing the pipework.

- The Nelson Mail

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