Regional Pipeline Upgrade

The Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit begins work next week on the installation of a new waste water pipeline across the Waimea Estuary from Monaco to Bells Island.

Chairperson Donna Hiser says that it will be a great relief to soon have the new pipeline in place as it is known that joints in the current pipeline are at high risk of failure.

“It has not been possible to investigate and replace those joints as any disturbance of the area around an unstable joint could have resulted in untreated sewage being released into the estuary.

“The new pipeline will be installed at sufficient distance from the old pipe that we can be sure that the unstable joints should not be disturbed.

“As well as being of historical and environmental importance, the Waimea Estuary has substantial significance for local iwi as a food source, so that protecting it from potential contamination is a very high priority.” The pipeline upgrade will also include the installation of new pumps at Beach Road and Saxton Road pump stations, the Songer Street pump station will be replaced by an improved facility, and the Airport pump station will have its control mechanisms upgraded.

At the same time as the new waste water pipe is put in place, the Nelson City Council will take the opportunity to install a smaller pipeline in the same trench and this will carry treated waste water back from Bells Island to the City so that it can be reused for irrigation.

“Re-using treated waste water makes great economic and environmental sense for the region long term”, says Donna. “We are delighted that Nelson City Council is undertaking this initiative. The Business Unit already has several other re-use initiatives such as using treated waste water for pasture irrigation on Bells Island and, of course, the long term use of treated solids as fertiliser on the Rabbit Island forest. While many regions are sending treated solids to landfill, often with increasing landfill charges, the Nelson Tasman region is both saving money and protecting the environment with these initiatives.”