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Putting the sparkle back into the Waitematā Harbour

Published: 7 June 2019

A $24 million project to replace and upgrade old, combined stormwater and wastewater pipes to improve water quality and reduce overflows polluting the Waitematā Harbour, is about to start.

The Freeman’s Bay Storm Water Network Improvements Project is part of the Western Isthmus Water Quality Improvement programme and the construction of the giant Central Interceptor tunnel.

The city-wide infrastructure investment plan to replace the more than century-old stormwater and wastewater pipes is funded by the Water Quality Targeted Rate and will help make our waterways cleaner.

“The work of separation of stormwater from wastewater in the western bays has been on hold for years. This timely investment from the water quality targeted rate is great news for the bays and for the Waitematā Harbour”, says Cr Mike Lee.

“We need to get on and finish the job”.

The new infrastructure will also provide the capacity to better manage the increasing demands on our stormwater and wastewater systems as the population grows.

“The Freeman’s Bay upgrade will make a positive difference to reducing sewage spillage, improving water quality and the swimability of the Waitematā while mitigating flooding,” says Project Manager, Ngan Soai Truong, Senior Healthy Water Specialist.

The work will reduce the sewage spills, which can occur after torrential rain, from approximately 40 times per year to 12 and after 2025 when the Central Interceptor becomes operational, the spill frequency is expected to reduce to fewer than four to six times per year.

New technology is being employed to produce very high-quality water suitable for discharging into the Waitematā Harbour when there are overflows.

The upgrade will also alleviate flooding issues which have been a problem for decades for residents on Anglesea Street and Picton Street.

Click here to see a map of the works [PDF]

Enabling work, including property inspections and ground level surveys, will start in June 2019 with the target completion date for the project in December 2020, in time for the America’s Cup 36 programme and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2021.

The plan is to design and construct a 1.2km long stormwater pipeline and drainage separation and connections on Picton Street, Anglesea Street, Barrie Street, Hepburn Street and Wellington Street.

Multiple crews will be on the job around the Anglesea Street and Hepburn Street intersection, Wellington Street and upper Hepburn Street before moving on to Picton Street.

Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are working together to put in place a traffic management plan and ensure minimal disruption to residents. The Wellington Street motorway on-ramp will remain open.

Ngan says the project team is also working with Housing New Zealand which has flats in Anglesea Street, Ministry of Education and Freemans Bay School and local residents and community groups.

“We intend to keep everyone up to speed with the project and make sure residents are informed in good time if their property will be affected by construction work,” Ngan says.

“We ran a Saturday morning pop-in for local residents on May 11 and the feedback was very positive and useful.

“We’re excited this project recognises Aucklanders concerns for their environment, especially the much loved Waitematā, and that we have the capability and technology to modernise the basic infrastructure to clean up water quality and reduce overflows into the harbour.

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