Work begins to connect Pukekohe East reservoir to supply network

The first of two ‘tie-ins’ to connect our new Pukekohe East reservoir with the water supply network will begin early tomorrow morning on Wednesday 15 June.
Construction on the 50-million-litre storage reservoir began in 2018. Its completion next month will enable the Waikato Water Treatment Plant to treat 175 million litres of water a day.
Project manager Faiz Salim says work to connect the reservoir with the existing watermain will be carried out in two stages, with the first starting in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
“We’ll be temporarily diverting the water to maintain supply to all residents while the connection is completed,” Salim says. “We expect this first tie-in to be finished within 24 hours.”
Engineers will be constantly monitoring water flow and pressure during this time.
“There is a small chance that we may get some air in the pipes, which could make the water appear cloudy in parts of Pukekohe, Tuakau and Pokeno,” Salim says. “If this happens, there is nothing to worry about – it’s just tiny air bubbles in the water which will soon disappear, leaving you with normal clear water that’s perfectly safe to drink.”
The Waikato Water Treatment Plant can currently treat up to 165 million litres of water a day. The reservoir’s completion will lift this to 175 million litres a day.
“This is a crucial project for Aucklanders and we’ve worked really hard to deliver it on time, even with the Covid-19 shutdown,” Salim says. “It means we can treat more water from the Waikato River and ease some of the pressure on our Hūnua dams, which have been particularly hard hit by the drought.
“It also adds resilience to the southern water network. It holds 50 million litres, so if we were to have a power failure at our Waikato plant, for example, we would be able to maintain supply with the water stored in this reservoir.”
At 57.5 per cent, Auckland’s total dam storage level is still far below the historical average of 83 per cent for this time of year. Long-range forecasts are predicting a very dry spring, which is why we are still asking all Aucklanders to save 20 litres per person every day.