New water strategy on table

Moveable: Acting Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and Hastings District Council chief executive Ross McLeod at the Brookvale Treatment Plant. The plant will be relocated and used to treat other parts of the water supply.

Going ahead with a new bore field, putting in a second mains water pipe between Hastings and Havelock North, and permanently closing the Brookvale bore field are all in a revised water strategy being put before Hastings District councillors this week.

If Council approves the strategy, work on implementing it would begin immediately with the bulk of the project expected to be completed in about 24 months.

Brookvale bores 1 and 2 were closed down earlier this year. The proposed plan would see Brookvale 3 also closed down, once additional water can be supplied to Havelock North.

The strategy would see a second mains pipe installed between Hastings and Havelock North, the water take from existing Hastings bores increased where possible, and new bores drilled – with the location subject to further testing but most likely within the wider Tomoana area.

“Ensuring our access to safe drinking water while improving the resilience and flexibility of our water supply system are at the very front of our considerations,” said acting mayor Sandra Hazlehurst.

“We know that the treatment we have in place at Brookvale makes that water safe, but the impact of the bore on the environment means we must move away from that area.”

The previous strategy (2012) included a move away from reliance on the Brookvale bore field but intended keeping it as a top-up supply. That was not an option under the revised strategy, given new scientific information on its effect on the nearby Mangateretere Stream.

To compensate for the loss of the Brookvale supply, more water would need to be pumped from the Eastbourne St bore and work on a new bore field advanced. Sites for a new bore field had been under investigation for a number of months.

The report going to Council this Thursday [August 3] includes a list of current and proposed bores sites. The potential new sites had undergone preliminary investigation. Further investigations including consultation with iwi would be required before a final site could be decided upon, after which a consenting process through Hawke’s Bay Regional Council would be initiated.

Under the proposed strategy all of Council’s urban water supplies would to be treated. The treatment plant put in place for Brookvale Bore 3 earlier this year would be relocated and used to treat other parts of the water supply.

“We will continue to work with the leading New Zealand and international water experts to help us come up with the best options to provide a long-term sustainable safe drinking water supply,” said Mrs Hazlehurst.