proposed tunnel project

Dear Western Isthmus CLG members,

Watercare would like to let you know about an important project to build a new wastewater tunnel in Grey Lynn. The project is needed as the current combined pipelines in the Grey Lynn area overflow into Cox’s Creek when it rains.
The tunnel will be constructed by a tunnelling machine, between 15-60m deep underground, reducing impact on communities along the project route. The project will start at the Western Springs shaft already required for the Central Interceptor project and tunnelling will continue through to a new shaft site, required at the eastern end of Tawariki Street.
When complete it will have further benefits in the Western Isthmus than the current Central Interceptor proposal, enabling future connections in the area as the population continues to grow.

While tunnelling is not expected to begin until 2022 and work on the Tawariki site in 2023, Watercare will soon lodge the necessary consents for the works.

More information about the project is in the attached flyer. Please let me know if require any more information, as Watercare is happy to talk to you further either in person or at the next meeting. The group will be kept in touch with updates as the project progresses.

Sewage Contamination in the Sea

Recently Sandi and Heidi had a meeting with a member of the Central City Residents’ Group in order to discuss the Stop Auckland’s Sewage Overflows Coalition (SASOC). As Transition Town Pt Chevalier has members keen to try to stop sewage going into the sea, we thought it was good to learn more about this campaign. There was also some other common ground, which could lead to possibly supporting each other.

  1. SASOC. It’d be good to be able to put Transition Town Pt Chev’s name to support this cause, but I want to understand fully the cost and technical differences between separating sewage and stormwater, vs building the new interceptor. To this end, I’ve been given a contact name at Watercare and will communicate with them. Hopefully I’ll be able to satisfy myself that the central interceptor is at least as sound a concept as separating the stormwater from the sewerage, in which case I will recommend to TTPC that we support the SASOC campaign. One of the major issues is that the quality of stormwater entering our harbours in the separated systems is highly toxic, due to road runoff, and providing distributed treatment systems is expensive.
  2. Other ways to prevent stormwater entering the combined system should be implemented. Rainwater tanks that feed laundry, toilet (and perhaps even hot water) are used in Australia. Widespread installation of these tanks throughout the regions that feed the sewerage system would ease the peak stormwater loads, as the drawdown of water in the tanks for these uses means there is capacity for new stormwater, even in the middle of winter. Rainwater tanks that just feed the garden – though good for the garden and lowering the water demand – do not provide this stormwater peak relief for the network.
  3. Emergency composting toilets. The skillset around establishing and using composting toilets is an important one to develop for resiliency during civil emergencies. As a way of introducing the public to the concept, perhaps Civil Defense could install public composting toilets around the city.
  4. Parking levies are necessary in Auckland. One of the big costs that the driving mode imposes on society is through the impact of parking spaces. Carparks in the suburbs spread amenities apart, turning a walkable environment into one with long distances that are easier to drive. They contribute to road runoff issues. They are a poor use of space in the central city where 57,000 people live, and which is the densest residential area in the country – all the ground level carparks there should be plazas or parks for residents and visitors to use. And worst of all, they induce driving. If Auckland introduced parking levies at the level that Sydney has them, there would be $137.5 million of revenue per year – although this would drop as landowners shift the carparks to better uses.
  5. Intensification is a tool for assisting a more compact, people-friendly urban form.