Disruptions expected as work begins on Cromwell's new water supply pipeline
Earthworks are set to begin at Cromwell's Alpha Street Reserve in the first step of what is to be a major upgrade of Cromwell's town water supply to ensure it meets new national rules.
The Central Otago District Council is starting on a $6.4 million pipe connecting the town's bore, located alongside Lake Dunstan near the reserve, to the water reservoir above the intersection of States Highway 6 and 8B.
The rising main, or pumped line, will consist of a dedicated 630-millimetre pipe that will run along Neplusultra Street, Barry Avenue, and Lode Lane, then through the Cromwell Mall to get to State Highway 8B and then State Highway 6, before climbing to the reservoir site on McNab Road.
Initial investigatory work will identify the existing underground services around the town, before digging commences at the Alpha Street football club carpark this month.
Construction of the pipe is expected to take seven to eight months, with civil construction workers expected to be in the centre of town before winter.
In a statement this week detailing the project, the council says it "is the first stage of a significant programme of work to provide a fully compliant water supply for Cromwell".
The investment will also provide for increased capacity to cater for the rapidly growing population in the town and surrounding areas.
But the council warns residents and visitors should anticipate some disruption in the interim.
“Works will be constrained to road verges and footpaths where possible. Traffic management, including some detours will be in place to allow the installation of the pipeline,” council project manager Josh Wight says in the statement.
The council and its contractor HEB Construction will contact households and businesses expected to be directly affected by the planned works.
Cromwell is second cab of the rank for much-needed upgrades, with neighbouring Alexandra and Clyde's tap water already sorted thanks to an upgrade project completed last year by the council.
The council's three waters director Julie Muir says, “Council turned on the taps at the new Lake Dunstan Water Supply in 2023, which serves Alexandra and Clyde. Work for Cromwell has taken longer while we make sure that what is built is future-proofed to meet the growth needs of Cromwell.”
Later this year the council expects to seek a contractor for stage two of its programme of work - constructing a new treatment plant at the reservoir site and an upgrade of the bores.
Main image (Supplied/CODC): The planned path for Cromwell's new water supply pipeline.