Pareora water project approaches finish line with completion of Section 3

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Published: 11 Mar 2022

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

The existing Pareora pipeline, installed in the 1930s, is a critical pipeline that carries water 37km from the upper Pareora River intake to the Claremont water treatment plant and reservoir on the outskirts of Timaru. It provides approximately 60% of water consumed annually from the Timaru Water Supply.

The third section of the pipeline, laying 13.5km of new pipeline between Pareora Gorge Road to Claremont was accelerated to offer better security of supply following the Timaru water discolouration incident.

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

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

“With the majority of the pipeline now complete we can go back to using our full allocation from the Pareora source and reduce our reliance on the Opihi supply while we work on long term options for the secondary intake.

“Completing this job three months ahead of schedule wouldn’t have been possible without a significant and dedicated effort from our contractors and subcontractors, so I’d like to take the opportunity to thank them on behalf of the whole community.”

The Pareora Pipeline has been designed as three overlapping projects, which has enabled the job to be locally delivered using a majority of local contractors.

  • Pareora Section 1 – Rooney Earthmoving
  • 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 an innovative pipe lining technology will be used rather than a replacement of the pipe.

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

“The use of proven pipe lining technology enables us to reuse the existing pipelines and reduces the need for significant groundworks along the gorge, it’s also quicker to install and more flexible so allows for the ground movement 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 better than their original strength.

The liner for section 2 of the project is currently en-route to New Zealand, and is planned to be installed from May 2022 onwards.

Last updated: 11 Mar 2022