For North Shore motorists going about their daily commute, the construction of our new $30 million pump station in Takapuna has been an intriguing sight.
A large crane has been in place ever since work began at the Fred Thomas Drive site
, back in March 2016. The outline of a new control room is clearly visible but what lies underground and out of sight is really impressive: a 10.5 metre dry well, sitting alongside a massive underground storage tank.
The whole underground structure is anchored into the ground with 58 reinforced concrete tension piles, each 600mm in diameter, “pegging” the tank in place, preventing it from floating upwards when the water table is high.
Project engineer Ken Lukar says while the new pumping speeds are impressive, it’s the tank’s new storage capacity that is really outstanding: “The current pumping station in Barrys Point Road has a capacity to store 520,000 litres but the new tank will be able to contain 3.5 million litres —which is a massive improvement.
"The population in the Devonport peninsular and east Takapuna areas is set to increase from 25,400 to around 40,000 by 2050, so this investment in wastewater will provide real future-proofing.”
The giant new storage tank and pump station means a reduction in wet-weather overflows during heavy rain into Shoal Bay—which is good news for the environment and the community.
Whilst the main construction work takes place in Fred Thomas Drive, a new wastewater rising main has been simultaneously installed along Taharoto Road. This new pipeline connects the new pump station to the existing network. The Taharoto Road stage was completed on Friday (28 July) and works along Karaka Street are due to finish in mid-August.
Once construction of the new pump station is completed early next year and the protective fencing comes down, only the control room building will be seen. Motorists and pedestrians who pass by will have no idea of the wastewater infrastructure secrets that lie beneath the ground.