Work under way to address town’s water problems

Supply and demand . . . Four months’ of sludge build›up in a Waihola resident’s water supply filter. The council has major infrastructure upgrade plans to address Waihola’s water woes. PHOTO: SUPPLIED.

Responding to the Waihola community’s concerns over ongoing water supply issues, use notifications, restrictions and outages, Clutha District Council has reiterated its plans for ‘‘significant upgrades’’.

Waihola continues to experience significant housing growth thanks both to its recreational lakeside setting and its proximity to Dunedin, which could be compounding existing water supply issues, the council believes.

A council spokesman said plans were in place for a $3.5 million›$4.5 million upgrade to pumps and a 15.5km Milton›Waihola pipeline which ‘‘would allow about a third of current customers to shift off the rural scheme and connect to the Milton urban water supply’’.

This in turn would increase the capacity of the existing rural reticulation supply for those who continued to use it.

Regarding those projects, council community and long› term plan documents say ‘‘work is proposed to begin in 2021’’.

The spokesman said the current $1.7 million Waihola water treatment upgrade would be ‘‘finished soon’’.

Initial work on procurement for pipework was under way.

Upgrades for Waihola’s sewage and stormwater infrastructure, and preparation for future challenges of a growing population and climate change effects of increasing drought and extreme rainfall events are also compassed within the long›term plan.

The council oversees 22 urban and rural water schemes, 2684km of reticulation, 16 treatment plants and 46 pump stations.