Media release: Government-funded water network projects to start

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Millions of dollars’ worth of upgrades and renewals are in the pipeline for Southland’s water networks, thanks to three waters stimulus funding granted by the government last year.

Southland District Council received $13.53 million in stimulus funding from the government after opting to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Crown regarding three waters reform.

Of that, $1.5 million will be put towards a regional condition assessment programme, $2 million towards the Te Anau wastewater scheme, and the remaining $10.03 million has been allocated to a renewal programme throughout the District. The projects will cover upgrades and renewals to some of Southland’s watermains, stormwater and wastewater networks and will ensure critical infrastructure gets much-needed improvements.

In early February, contractors will start work on a stormwater upgrade in Waianawa, rising mains replacements in Eastern Bush/Otahu Flat and a new pumped sewer in Riverton along Princess and Carrol Streets. In March, work will start on watermain renewals in Riverton, Tuatapere, Lumsden and Otautau. Stormwater upgrades in Orepuki and Stewart Island have also been given the green light but are yet to have a start date confirmed.

There are also multiple projects set to begin in April.

SDC programme manager Joe Findley said the stimulus funding represented a great opportunity to improve the overall condition of the District’s assets. The funding also presented a challenge in ensuring that the work was completed within the funding timeframes while still maintaining the quality standards expected, he said.

For a large portion of the stimulus programme, Council has worked alongside Invercargill City Council to appoint a panel of contractors to complete the works. The panel model was approved by Council to enable a streamlined procurement process to take place. It has been a positive step towards the councils working collaboratively to gain efficiencies in delivery of projects, Mr Findley said.

Southland District projects confirmed as part of the government’s three waters stimulus package include:

• Waianawa stormwater upgrade (starting February 2021)
• Eastern Bush/Otahu Flat rising water mains replacement (starting February)
• Riverton watermain renewal – Rocks Highway (starting March)
• Stewart Island stormwater upgrade (start date to be confirmed)
• Tuatapere watermain renewals (starting March)
• Orepuki stormwater upgrade (start date to be confirmed)
• Lumsden watermain renewals (starting March)
• Riverton pumped sewer (starting February)
• Otautau watermain renewals (starting March)

For more information on any of these projects, please visit our Three water stimulus funding projects page.

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