Watercare’s new water treatment plant in Warkworth goes live

07 December 2018


Warkworth history is being created today, with the turn of the town’s taps.
 
For the first time, residents will be drinking treated water sourced from an underground aquifer, instead of the Mahurangi River. The new plant is a substantial investment and makes it Watercare’s largest water treatment plant  that is not connected to the metropolitan network.
 
Around three million litres of water is being drawn each day from two bores, reaching 180-220 metres below ground. Watercare head of production Peter Rogers says the new plant is an exciting development for the Warkworth area: “The new plant will double capacity and cater for growth in this fast-growing region.
 
This summer, there will be no concerns about keeping up with demand, even if a drought occurs, as the bore will provide a guaranteed supply, unlike the river, which ran low in past years.”
 
The plant uses sophisticated technology, including two large pressurised ‘bullets’ or reinforced plastic chlorine contact tanks. The treatment process includes chlorination and UV disinfection to produce Aa grade (top quality) drinking water. 

The bores are secure i.e. not in open farmland, prone to contamination and are located on-site.  About a third of the water used in New Zealand comes from such groundwater sources.

Groundwater is water that fills up in underground aquifers. Rain seeps down through the soil and fills up in rock fractures and the spaces between grains of sand and soil, in the same way a sponge holds water.
 
Residents may notice a slight difference in taste as bore water absorbs naturally occurring minerals from surrounding rocks, such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, chloride and bicarbonate. The treatment process at the Warkworth Plant is designed to reduce iron and manganese content to well below New Zealand’s Drinking Water Standards.
 
Bore water is often ‘harder’ than water sourced from dams or rivers because it contains more minerals. It’s common in many Auckland communities such as Waiuku, Onehunga, Bombay, Muriwai and Snells Beach-Algies Bay. Find out more about groundwater.
 
An official opening ceremony will take place in early 2019. Public tours will be held, so residents can get a first-hand look at how their water is sourced and treated.

In the meantime, Warkworth residents can raise a toast to celebrate the success of their new plant … but instead of champagne, they may like to fill their glasses with their new fresh water instead!
 
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