Pareora Water Project nears finish line with completion of Section 3

Two of the three sections of the Pareora pipeline project have now been commissioned, bringing the $15 million project one step closer to completion.

The existing Pareora Pipeline, installed in the 1930s, is a vital pipeline that carries water 37 km from the upper intake of the Pareora River to the Claremont Water Treatment Plant and Reservoir. on the outskirts of Timaru. It provides about 60% of the water consumed annually from Timaru’s water supply.

The third section of the pipeline, the laying of 13.5 km of new pipeline between Pareora Gorge Road and Claremont, has been accelerated to provide better security of supply following the Timaru water discoloration incident.

Drainage and Water Manager Grant Hall said the completion of this section provides better supply capacity and resilience for the network.

“Recent events have underscored the importance of this project, so it’s great for the residents of Timaru and the business community that we were able to complete this critical piece of water infrastructure ahead of time,” said- he declared.

“With the majority of the pipeline now complete, we can return to utilizing our full Pareora source allocation and reduce our dependence on Opihi supply while we work on long-term options for secondary supply.

“Completing this work three months ahead of schedule would not have been possible without a significant and dedicated effort from our contractors and subcontractors, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them on behalf of all community.”

The Pareora pipeline was designed as three overlapping projects, which allowed the work to be carried out locally using a majority of local contractors.

Pareora Section 1 – Rooney Earthwork

Pareora Section 2 – Hadlee & Brunton

Pareora Section 3 – Paul Smith Earthmoving

The final section of the project is the technically complex section through the Pareora Gorge, where innovative pipe lining technology will be used rather than pipe replacement.

“90 years ago the city engineers designed a really efficient path through the gorge, which we really couldn’t improve on, and it’s a site of great natural and cultural value,” Grant said.

“Using proven pipe lining technology allows us to reuse existing pipes and reduces the need for extensive earthworks along the throat. It is also faster to install and more flexible, allowing ground motion that can be experienced.”

The SaniTube liner, which we first used in New Zealand as part of the Downlands upgrade, is a special woven textile liner that brings pipelines back to a higher strength than their original strength.

The project’s Section 2 liner is currently en route to New Zealand and is expected to be installed from May 2022.

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