$3m water plant improvements recommended

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A $3million proposal to significantly improve the Mataura and East Gore water treatment plants could soon be a reality.

Gore District Council chief executive Steve Parry tabled a report outlining options for upgrading the treatment plants at the council’s operations committee meeting held on Tuesday.

Significant strides in the quality of the treatment process would be achieved if ultraviolet equipment was installed at the Mataura and East Gore plants within the next 18 months, he said.

“Whilst the council has a reasonable level of treatment for its water supplies, ultraviolet treatment could best be described as a “belts and braces” approach to ensure that more aggressive waterborne bacteria such as cryptosporidium and giardia are eliminated,” Mr Parry said in the report.

Mr Parry recommended installing the ultraviolet treatment at the East Gore plant by early next year and at the Mataura plant shortly after.

About $1.4 million had been set aside for the Mataura project and $1.6 million had been set aside in the long-term plan for the East Gore site.

The report recommends the East Gore site be the principal water treatment facility for the Gore township.

Meanwhile, another report tabled at the meeting investigated the possibility of a relatively low-cost, effective way of eliminating manganese and iron problems from within the Gore network.

About $1.6 million was set aside in the present financial year of the council’s 2015-25 long-term plan to remove manganese.

However, in 3 Waters project manager’s Sam Bunting’s report, a proposal from Detection Services to use a specifically outfitted truck with an array of filters to remove manganese periodically, was suggested.

“The truck creates a temporary loop in the reticulation system by connecting to two fire hydrants and then uses a variable speed drive pump to circulate water through the loop at well above the self-cleansing velocity of the water main, in a reverse direction,” Mr Bunting said in the report.

The cost of using the truck, which is based in Australia, would be $11,050 for transportation of the unit, $77,425 to flush the Gore network, and $33,204 to flush the Mataura network.

Earlier in the week, Mr Bunting said the council had investigated ways of removing manganese from the source and the original budget set for that work was $1.6 million, which would have been used to upgrade equipment at the plants.

However, the truck would periodically clean the manganese from the water system.

The council was carrying out regular sampling at Jacobs and Coopers wells, Mr Bunting said.

Samples were also taken from the source when a resident complained about dirty water, he said.

It seemed activity on the network stirred up the manganese which had settled in the system.

The upgrades were recommended by the committee but still have to go to a full council meeting for endorsement.