The third section of the Pareora pipeline project was completed last week, one section remains

Contractors are working to complete the temporary connection between the new Section 3 line of the Pareora Pipeline Project and the Section 2 line, which will then be upgraded.

Timaru/Fourni District Council

Contractors are working to complete the temporary connection between the new Section 3 line of the Pareora Pipeline Project and the Section 2 line, which will then be upgraded.

The capacity and resilience of Timaru’s water supply has been strengthened with the completion of Phase 3 of the $15 million Pareora Pipeline Replacement.

Timaru District Council announced on Friday that work on two of the three sections has now been completed, meaning the project is a “major step towards completion”.

The third section, laying 13.5 kilometers of new pipeline between Pareora Gorge Road and Claremont, was due to be completed in May, but in January work was brought forward to provide better security of supply amid high-profile fading issues of Timaru were continuing.

Timaru council water and drainage manager Grant Hall said the completion of the third section provides “better supply capacity and resilience for the network”.

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“Recent events (fading issues) have underscored the importance of this project, so it’s great for the residents of Timaru and the business community that we’ve been able to complete this critical water infrastructure ahead of time. “Hall said.

“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 pipeline, which dates back to the 1930s providing around 60% of the water consumed annually from Timaru’s supply, is being replaced in three overlapping projects, with Rooney Earthmoving completing Section 1 in December 2021, Section 2 remains incomplete with Hadlee and Brunton awaiting a special coating for the pipeline and Section 3 which was completed on Friday by Paul Smith Earthmoving.

Hall said the final section, Section 2, of the project is the technically complex section through the Pareora Gorge where a pipe coating technology will be used rather than replacing the pipe.

“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.

“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 the ground motion that can be experienced.”

The Council said the SaniTube liner, which was first used in New Zealand as part of the Joint Downlands Upgrading Program in the Timaru, Waimate and Mackenzie districts, is a special woven textile liner that brings the pipelines back to a better resistance than their original resistance.

The cladding for section 2 of the project is currently on its way to New Zealand and is expected to be installed from May 2022.