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Viable water alternatives

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6 April 2021

With drought conditions in our largest city now well established, investigating and developing viable alternative water sources for Aucklanders has become an integral part of Citycare Water’s work.

Citycare Water is assisting Watercare and Auckland Council to implement an ongoing programme to assess and develop alternative water sources to supplement Auckland’s water supplies.

Special Projects Sector Lead John Twentyman says ground water from underground aquifers is being considered with Watercare identifying 11 sites where bore water could potentially be used to supplement the current water supplies.

“Our investigation works include water sampling to understand the quality of the water, bore hole construction and flow and yield testing to measure the available water volumes at each bore site,” John says.

His team has now completed the initial investigations of the 11 sites and, based on the results, three have been selected for further development.

One project recently commissioned was the development of the Hall’s Farm, Orewa, water bore site into a potable water supply from which water tanker trucks can fill up to provide water to houses on roof / tank supplies north of Auckland.

The work involved development of the bore head, construction of a containerised water treatment facility and a water tank farm with a water tanker distribution system.

A similar system is being built in Karaka with the lead being taken by Apex Environmental, a Citycare Water subsidiary, who are designing and building the new complex.

The Orewa site holds capacity for producing 700m3 of potable water per day; with the Karaka site being able to provide 500m3 per day.

Each potable site is fully automated with online monitoring and reporting systems.

If water quality parameters are exceeded, an alarm alerts the maintenance technician, and simultaneously shuts down the plant to allow the technician to rectify the fault before further distribution of water.

Another site under development is Eden Park stadium.

“Water from this bore will be used to irrigate the main rugby field as well as the outer cricket venue instead of using potable drinking water,” John says.

In addition, two new water bores have been drilled at Lloyd Elsmore Park, one of Auckland’s largest sports parks located in Pakuranga.

One of those bores produces sufficient water to be developed into an operational bore to supply water for the Lloyd Elsmore Park hockey facility.

Up to 150m3 per day of water is used to dampen down the artificial turf so that it can be safely played on.

Halls Farm water storage tanks