Council looks to increase funding for Ōmārama water upgrade

Published on 20 April 2022


Waitaki District Council will next week consider putting an additional $1.62 million towards the Ōmārama Water upgrade project, meaning a revised total project cost estimate of around $3 million.

Acting Assets Group Manager Paul Hope said the funding boost for the project, first approved in 2020, was necessary due to several issues. While the initial project budget remains fully funded through the government support programme which will make the upgrade more affordable for Ōmārama residents, the original estimate had been conservatively based on a similar project in Otematata and several significant changes have occurred since that time - including the new Water Services Act, stricter water treatment standards and significant increases in the cost of materials and professional services - which when combined with other factors, have had a substantial impact on actual project costs and estimates.

“These factors have collectively added an additional $1.62 million to the project budget," said Waitaki Mayor, Gary Kircher. “However, consumers on the water scheme can be reassured that the upgrade will give them a water supply that meets the new, tougher drinking water standards and that is significantly more resilient to weather and other events, reducing the likelihood of having the boil water notices that have occurred in the past. The long-term future of the Ōmārama water supply is protected and we think that is a very good thing indeed.”

 This will be the first treatment plant upgrade completed under the new Water Services Act 2021.

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