Wastewater pump station dramatically cuts overflows at Shoal Bay

03 July 2018

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has officially opened Watercare’s new $30 million wastewater pump station and underground storage tank in Takapuna that helps prevent wastewater overflows into Shoal Bay.

Around 30 HEB contractors and Watercare staff watched as the Mayor cut a ribbon and then an automatic door raised up, revealing the inside of the new pump house, which transports wastewater to the Wairau Road Pump Station and then onto the Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant. The newly-laid asphalt surrounding the pump house building gave no hint at what lay beneath—a massive 10-metre-deep concrete dry well sitting alongside a similar concrete wet well.

Construction of the 4.5 million litre tank began in March 2016. Thee pump station and tank began has been working very effectively since it began operation in January. Usually, there are about six wet-weather overflows into Shoal Bay per year during heavy rain events.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said, “It’s simply not acceptable that wastewater was regularly overflowing into Shoal Bay as often six times a year. Now, with the storage tank at Fred Thomas Drive, those wastewater overflows will be dramatically reduced.

“Despite severe weather events this year and the worst storm in a decade, the new system has allowed us to avoid wastewater overflows into the Bay.

“The large investment we are making in our stormwater and wastewater infrastructure will restore our right to enjoy clean beaches and waterways to swim in.

“On the North Shore alone, more than $1 billion is being invested in new and improved wastewater infrastructure to cater for the huge population growth in the area. This work compliments significant investment across the Auckland region in our stormwater and wastewater systems that will allow our city to grow and help clean-up our beaches,” says Phil Goff.  

The Fred Thomas Drive Storage Tank and Pump Station will help enhance our environment by reducing wastewater overflows onto our North Shore beaches. It also increases the capacity of the wastewater system to cater for the population growth in the Devonport Peninsular and East Takapuna areas that is expected to nearly double to around 40,000 by 2050.

The current wastewater pumping station in Barrys Point Road has a capacity to store 520,000 litres but the new storage tanks at Fred Thomas Drive contain 3.5 million litres—which is a massive improvement. The new pump station is bigger and more effective too, pumping 530 litres of wastewater per second as compared to 325 litres per second at the old site.

North Shore Councillor, Chris Darby, notes the importance of matching population growth with modern infrastructure: “The Shore is edged by fabulous beaches and bays that will be enjoyed by the community now and for generations to come. We’re making sure we safeguard and enhance our beautiful blue environment for people and nature.”
 
Fellow ward councillor, Richard Hills, agrees: “We’re working really hard to upgrade our infrastructure and make room for more people. This multi-million dollar wastewater station means an immediate improvement to the coastal environment around our community.”

Whilst the main construction work took place in Fred Tomas Drive, a new wastewater rising main was simultaneously installed along Taharoto Road and Karaka Street. Watercare project manager, Jason Salmon thanks motorists for their patience during this time: “This is a substantial wastewater project and we tried our best to minimise disruption for everyone. The benefits of these wastewater upgrades for the North Shore will be felt for years to come.”

This is just one of many wastewater upgrades Watercare is planning on the North Shore. A new wastewater pipeline in Wairau Road, is due for completion at the end of July and work is about to begin on a new pump station there.

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