Work in progress on the Marton Water Supply Strategy Project

Marton’s water supply strategy is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. Photo/Bevan Conley

The Rangitīkei District Council announced the drilling of a second borehole in the Tūtaenui reserve as part of a project to bring better drinking water to the residents of Marton.

The $11 million project, named Marton Water Supply Strategy, is part of the council’s 2021-31 long-range plan.

Chief Operating Officer Arno Benadie said drilling of the additional borehole was still within budget for the project and site preparations were underway.

For many years, residents of Marton have had problems with their drinking water, including discoloration, an unpleasant odor and bad taste.

Benadie said that every year in the spring and summer, the water at Marton Dams has experienced significant algal blooms.

“While the treated drinking water is completely safe for consumption, residents of Marton are noticing these differences in their drinking water that may be of concern,” Benadie said.

Marton depends on two groundwater dams for its water source and during the dry summer months the water levels drop to the dams.

When it rains heavily during the summer months, it adds a large volume of raw water from the watershed to the dams in a short time. This affects the raw water which must be treated to produce Marton’s drinking water.

Raw water is the water that enters the dam before any treatment.

Once the project is completed, the two boreholes should be able to supply enough groundwater so that the dams are no longer used for drinking water.

“The new borehole will operate alongside an existing borehole in the Tūtaenui Reserve and will significantly increase the volume of accessible groundwater.”

The complete project includes the drilling of a new well and the construction of a new water treatment facility.

Arno Benadie said Marton's filtered water station was popular and had been available for two years.  Photo / Bevan Conley
Arno Benadie said Marton’s filtered water station was popular and had been available for two years. Photo / Bevan Conley

The project will increase the raw water supply to the Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant from 3,500 cubic meters to 5,000 cubic meters per day, with the additional borehole expected to be operational by the end of 2022.

Benadie said the project would accommodate the city’s growth.

“The water accessible from these boreholes is much more consistent than the water from the Marton dams, which means we can fine-tune the treatment and keep drinking water consistent year-round.”

The full project is expected to be completed by the end of 2024, Benadie said.

“In the meantime, we will be sure to pass on messages to the community to reassure them that the drinking water continues to be safe and the option of the free filtered water station available in Marton throughout the year. year,” says Benadie.

The council is working in partnership with the Manawatū District Council to complete the project, with Wanganui Welldrillers to begin drilling the second borehole in October.

The next phase of the project will be to construct a new water treatment plant to replace the century-old facility.

Benadie said that during the summer months, Marton’s filtered water station was popular and had been available for two years.

The water is treated drinking water from the city network, filtered through activated carbon filters.

Maria D. Ervin