Work is about to begin on our new $123m Wastewater Treatment Plant at Snells Beach as part of the ‘North-East Growth Scheme’ – a major infrastructure upgrade for the region to improve water quality in the Mahurangi River and cater for growth.
Stage one of the project was completed in March last year and involved laying a 7.5-kilometre underground outfall pipeline from the Snells Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant site to a discharge point off the coast of Martins Bay. Stage two involves building the new treatment plant itself, close to the existing ageing facility in Hamatana Rd. Enabling works are underway and earthworks will follow in April.
Photo: An aerial photo of our Snells Beach site
Once the project is completed in 2024, the existing Warkworth Wastewater Treatment Plant will be decommissioned and there’ll be an end to treated discharges into the Mahurangi River as well as far fewer wet-weather overflows.
Watercare project manager Casper Kruger says this will see a major improvement in water quality.
“We all want a cleaner environment for everyone to enjoy and this programme of works will really benefit the river and harbour.
“This marks an exciting new chapter in the history of this waterway that the community holds so dear.”
The Snells Beach facility will have a three-step wastewater treatment process, including UV disinfection. It will treat flows from the Warkworth and Snells-Algies communities and will cater for population growth over the next 35 years.
Kruger says the plant is due to be completed in December 2023 and will feature plant buildings, inlet works, screens and treatment tanks. Work is being carried out under Watercare’s ‘Enterprise Model’, which takes a particularly innovative approach to construction.
“Safety, carbon reduction and cost will be key drivers in this project. This means that in coming months, residents may notice less traditional building work going on and more unusual sights such as trucks carrying whole prefabricated buildings to the site, as well as giant membrane reactor tanks.
“Most of these elements will be sourced in New Zealand and will be pre-tested before they’re installed, so there’ll be huge savings in time, as well as a reduction in our carbon footprint.”
Fletcher Construction – one of our two Enterprise Model key partners – will be delivering the project.
Digital technology, including drones, will assist engineers with design planning and construction monitoring. There are also plans to keep residents in touch with developments with the use of virtual reality cameras, to enable a 360-degree ‘walk’ around the site.