Opening of upgraded Water Treatment Plant & new River Recharge Scheme
Significant milestones were marked at the Waikanae Water Treatment Plant this morning, with the opening of the upgraded plant and the newly-constructed River Recharge Scheme.
These two projects are the result of years of discussions, consultation, planning and hard work by many people and are part of Council’s strategy to provide a sustainable and affordable water supply for Kāpiti residents.
The function at the treatment plant started with a powhiri and moved onto speeches from Mayor Ross Church, Council’s CEO Pat Dougherty and Bill Carter, chair of the Te Atiawa Working Group which had an active involvement with the development of the projects and provided guidance on the guardianship of the Waikanae Catchment for iwi.
“This has been a six-year journey for Council and means we now have a secure water supply for the district for years to come,” Mr Dougherty said. “I would like to congratulate each and every one of you involved for your fine efforts and what you have achieved.”
The Mayor talked about the foresight of the previous Council in making the decision to go ahead with the River Recharge Scheme and his current Council for going through with it.
“Many partnerships have been involved in the achievements we see here today,” he said. “Partnerships between Council, the Te Atiawa Working Group, iwi generally, the Technical Advisory Group chaired by Don Hunn, numerous consultants and contractors, key stakeholders and the community. It’s remarkable what can be achieved when everyone works together.”
Following the speeches, Council Kaumātua Rakauoteora Don Te Maipi (Koro Don) blessed a new plaque commemorating the opening of the River Recharge Scheme and it was unveiled by Mayor Church and Bill Carter.
Several tours of the River Recharge Scheme then took place following a morning tea.
The River Recharge Scheme is the first in the country which uses groundwater to top up the river during dry times. The groundwater will be added below the treatment plant during dry times when river flow is low. Before it joins the river, the groundwater runs down a grassy channel so it is oxygenated and other gases are released. The scheme is being closely monitored and will continue to be monitored to ensure the river's ecological balance is well maintained for generations to come. It has the capacity to ensure a high quality and reliable water supply for Waikanae, Raumati and Paraparaumu for the next 50 years.