$9.8m water treatment plant approved

Last updated 11:26 14/02/2014

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Richmond's $9.8 million water treatment plant has been approved by Tasman district councillors despite a last minute query from a nearby resident querying its cost, size and consultation process.

Speaking in the public forum session of yesterday's full council meeting, McShane Rd resident Jo Ellis said she had been under the impression the proposed plant, on the corner of McShane Rd and Lower Queen St, would consist of a number of partially buried tanks and she queried the council's consultation process, saying building the plant in such a flood-prone area gave no security to the community's water supply.

The council's programme delivery manager, Russell McGuigan, said the Richmond supply had a history of high nitrate levels and intermittent E coli contamination. The three-part project would see water sourced from council bores mixed on site, UV treated and piped to Mapua and Richmond's Champion Rd and Queen St reservoirs.

The initial price submitted by the successful tenderer, Hawkins Infrastructure Ltd, had been over-budget by $1.2m but had been brought back into line with some design savings, including the eventual staged replacement of some ageing pipes.

Nelson medical office of health Ed Kiddle spoke in support of the planned plant saying clean water was essential for a community and its infrastructure to function.

Mixing the two sources of water would dilute the current supply's high nitrate level and add resilience to the community's supply.

The plant, which has a projected 50-year lifespan, was supported by Public Health and the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board and would meet community drinking-water regulations, he said.

Council utilities asset manager Jeff Cuthbertson said the plant would be supplied from a string of deep council bores. Land for the plant was designated as part of the Richmond West Development Plan and would eventually cater for a sewage pumping station.

Residents had also been able to submit on the planned plant through a long-term plan and annual plan processes, he said.

To questions from councillors he acknowledged the scheme was expensive but said the cost to the community, its businesses and industry would be more if "boil water" notices became more prevalent. Mapua's eventual growth had been catered for in the plant's planning, he said.

Outside the meeting Mr Cuthbertson said the tilt-slab plant would be raised 150mm above the road level and border planted.

Further flooding would be mitigated by realigning Borck Creek into a 70m-wide swale, which would be part of the future Richmond West recreation greenway. The development's design catered for climate change issues, he said.

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