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Residents at the top of the Waitohu Plateau will have little hope that they can say “au revoir” to the new reservoir planned for Ōtaki, but the latest proposal is to move it back 20 metres from its original position.

At a public meeting at the Waitohu School hall on June 7 called by Kāpiti Coast District Council, residents heard that the council had been busy working out how best to relocate the reservoir further back on the allocated property. This was in response to a backlash from nearby residents concerned that a 7-metre-high water tank would be so close to their property.

In answer to one resident’s question, KCDC chief executive Darren Edwards said the location at the top of Te Manuao Road was deemed the most suitable for the reservoir’s purpose.

“This is still our preferred site for many reasons,” he said. “We understand this proposal is not palatable for everyone, but we also have committments to the wider community.”

Asked about when the public would have a final decision about the location within the property, Darren there was still time to work through the options beacuse the site was closed for winter.

“We will continue to provide monthly community updates, either electronically or via another meeting like this,” he said.

A full team from KCDC fronted the meeting, including mayor Janet Holborow, Darren Edwards, deputy mayor Lawrence Kirby, infrastructure services manager Sean Mallon, community board chair Cam Butler, ward councillor Shelly Warwick, and councillors Rob Kofoed and Jocelyn Prvanov.

However, most of the presentation was left to project manager Peter Bollmann, who explained the work that had occurred since the last meeting on April 4.

Peter said investigations showed that it would be feasible – at a cost of about $130,000 – to move the reservoir back 20m, making the total distance from the nearest resident’s boundary 50m in total.

He said considerations had to include:

• the extra earthwarks required

• keeping the reservoir and other infrastructure within the site

• other environmental impacts, such as erosion and sediment control

• the effect on the rest of the development

• agreement with the developer.

He said a lot of work had been done to look at how the reservoir could be moved, so it would have as little impact as possible on views from nearby properties, while maintaining the ability of the reservoir to provide a reliable emergency water supply for Ōtaki.

He said that 50m from the west boundary was as far as the reservoir could be moved. With a bund around it and plantings of trees on top of the bund, the reservoir would have minimal effect on views from the west. With the land rising towards the east, going even further back would not make much difference.

A programme of regenerative planting of trees around the reservoir was proposed, including community representatives who would have input. Plant selection and ordering would be completed by October 2023 so planting could occur in the ideal winter season next year.

Of interest to Te Manuao Road residents was a timeline presented for works to install pipes along the full length of the road. The pipes would come from the reservoir at the top of Te Manuao Road, then along the old main highway and down to the pumping station at the bottom of County Road.

Peter’s presentation outlined a pipelaying programme for Te Manuao Road beginning in February next year and running through until June.

The reservoir site would be closed for winter, but under present proposals, earthworks would begin in October or November this year, with on-site pipelaying over the same period.

Tank construction would begin in February, going through until June 2024.

KCDC’s big guns turned out to the reservoir meeting on June 7. Chairing was deputy mayor Lawrence Kirby (standing), and from left, chief executive Darren Edwards, infrastructure manager Sean Mallon, mayor Janet Holborow, Ōtaki Community Board chair Cam Butler, project manager Peter Bollmann and senior asset planning engineer Nick Urlich.

Photo Ōtaki Today





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Council proposes relocating reservoir

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