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Re-using precious Auckland water

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7 October 2020

Citycare aims to always work collaboratively and sustainably so embraced the opportunity that water restrictions in Auckland created for both.

Every day there’s cooperation evident between Citycare Water, which provides stormwater, drinking water and wastewater maintenance and construction services to South Auckland communities, and Citycare Property, which builds and maintains public facilities and open spaces in the same region, and needs water to do so.

But the teamwork has gone up a level to carefully use the scarce water available locally and achieve broader outcomes.

As part of its role maintaining the three waters for Auckland Council, Citycare Water’s construction team replaces old water mains with new ones.

Some recent examples of this work are Bleakhouse Road in Howick and Bledisloe Street in Cockle Bay.

This requires large volumes of water to be flushed through the new mains to ensure they are fit for drinking water quality, Citycare Water Auckland Divisional Manager Sophie Guest says.

Normally this flushed water would flow into the stormwater system or to the green environment nearby, but now as part of drought measures this non-potable water is being captured for re-use, she says.

The collected tankers full of this precious resource are being stored at Watercare’s Redoubt Road site and used by Citycare Property for its rural and urban streetscape and roadside maintenance programmes and other operations.

Auckland Transport Team Leader Jody Walker says the rural spray trucks carry 1,600 litres of water each and use around 1,000 litres per day for road and pathside weed management.

Usually they access drinking water supply for this purpose via fire hydrants. Working closely alongside Citycare Water they are now instead accessing non-potable water from the tanker storage.

Similarly, in the urban areas of South Auckland, Citycare’s partner  WS Contractors is re-using the tanker water for its streetscape spraying from its tandem trailer set up with three 1,000-litre capacity containers.   

Citycare is also using the non-potable water for such work as hydro-excavation and concrete mixing.

water reuse 1 cropped

Spray operator Danny Moore fills up from the water tanker.

Water reuse with tanker

Foreperson Tereaere (Tere) Rauaua and Skilled Labourer John Quinn capture non-potable water in a tanker for re-use.

Cockle Bay 2

Team Leader Sione Hausia (Sia), Operator Asipeli (Mafi) Osai, and Skilled Labourer Finau (Rocky) Loketi are installing a new water main to replace an old one at Bledisloe St in Cockle Bay, Auckland.