11                                                            31 May 2017

                                   Wellington Water Committee

19 May 2017




File: (17/806)





Report no: WWC2017/2/8


Company Update Report





Purpose of Report

1.    To provide the Company Report for the period ending March 2017.



It is recommended that the Committee receives the Company Report.


Statement of Intent

2.    We have successfully moved through all the steps needed to complete the Statement of Intent.  We are on track to have it finalised and published by the due date.

2018-28 Service Delivery

3.    We are working to have the three waters part of Council’s 2018-2028 Long Term Plans in draft form following July/August workshops with Council.  This follows the latest rounds of workshops where councils received a performance overview of the three waters service goals for their areas.  We also provided a list of activities proposed to be undertaken in the indicative priority areas.

4.    We would like all councils to share their performance report with each other.

5.    The pace of land development across the region has picked up and we are noticing a lot more work coming through the company in this area.  All development requires some form of infrastructure investment to enable it.  In green field areas this is obvious, however for intensification this is not so obvious and councils can make the incorrect assumption that the existing networks will cope.  This is not always the case.  We will advocate increased modelling activity for all councils to ensure the impact of development is understood.  This is now a mandatory requirement of the new Urban Development Capacity NPS which requires councils to demonstrate they have the land and infrastructure available to meet projected growth.

6.    We will ensure this rapidly developing area is part of our workshops in July/August and prudent activities are put in 2018-28 Long Term Plans.  We also think councils should be thinking more carefully about the use of development contributions to ensure development pays its full share of the cost of growth infrastructure.

Current Year Performance

7.    We are generally pleased with our performance over the last quarter.  The damage to our building and the very poor communication from the building owner’s agent has affected the confidence of our people and therefore our productivity over the last six months.  Our confidence is slowly getting back to normal.

8.    The overall infrastructure bill from the earthquake ended up being $4.3million which is for both over and underground assets.  We have adjusted our capex programme to accommodate the changes and we are forecasting an overrun of approximately $1million in opex.  We hope to pare some of the opex overrun back over the next couple of weeks of the financial year.

9.    For more details about our performance in health and safety and against our three customer outcomes refer to Appendix 1 to the report.

2017-2018 Financial Year

10.  We are well planned for the 2017-18 financial year.  We have had unforeseen events which have needed to be accommodated within the activities planned the year with associated budget changes.  These are:

a)    additional treatment at Te Marua to manage the effects of possible toxic algae;

b)    the provision of alternative water sources, stores and additional operational equipment to reduce the impacts of further earthquakes; and

c)    the increased bacteria measurements in the Waterloo Wellfield and the need to continue to chlorinate until investigations of the Wellfield are complete and a decision can be made.

11.  We also anticipate some adjustment in the programmes will be needed to respond to increased land development pressures across the region.

12.  All of the above is being managed within individual councils as it happens.  We expect to hear from central government soon over our combined funding bid to accelerate the installation of alternative water supplies across the region and to make provision for increased capability to respond to further events.  As we have been discussing our service planning, we believe councils will want to proceed with the alternative water supplies regardless of the central government funding decision. 

12.  You will recall resilience comes in three parts as follows:

a)    a household campaign which asks residents, businesses and critical users to make provision for at least seven days of self-sufficiency;

b)    local government will install alternative water sources so that from day eight all residents of the wider Wellington metropolitan network can access at least 20 litres, per person per day; and

c)    we will progressively invest in resilient infrastructure which will ensure the water supply network can withstand the effects of a major earthquake and resume service after seven days providing increasingly normal water supply to residents.

13.  All these activities are making good progress.  The wider regional resilience team has talked to all councils and they will be at the Wellington Water Committee meeting to strengthen the overall approach.

14.  As noted earlier alternative supply work is proceeding at a pace.  A number of alternative supply’s (e.g. greywacke bores) will be commissioned over the next couple of months.  This will present a great opportunity for councils to reinforce messages with residents.

15.  The broader Wellington Lifelines Group Programme Business Case on the region’s resilience is proceeding to plan.  You will recall this work is due by the end of the year and will help all infrastructure providers rationalise their long term plans with respect to their funding and timing of large resilience activities, e.g. cross harbour pipeline.

Wastewater Resilience

16.  You approved the Strategic Case for Wastewater resilience at your last meeting.   You will recall 80% of our network is considered fragile meaning there will be significant damage during an earthquake.  We are well advanced in planning for the distribution of home based sanitisation kits and collection systems which will occur as part of our household resilience campaign.

Waterloo Wellfield Performance

17.  A sample from a bore in the Waterloo wellfield returned a positive E.coli result on 12 April 2017.  Appendix 2 illustrates recent E.coli results.  We immediately began chlorinating the supply in line with well-established procedures.

18.  In the past, once borefield sampling returned to normal, we would have stopped chlorination.  This time however we continue to chlorinate the system on an indefinite basis.  This is because overall monitoring of the borefield has revealed an increasing number of E.coli results and total coliforms (both are an indicator of bacteria in the wellfield system).  As our role is to ensure safe and healthy drinking water to the residents of Wellington, we made this decision pending further investigation results.  A final decision on chlorination will be made at the conclusion of the investigations.

19.  The investigations have begun and are centred on:

a)    looking at the operational solution to providing fully treated water from Te Marua should further problems be encountered at Waterloo;

b)    reviewing the condition and performance of the wellfield infrastructure to ensure it is fit for purpose;

c)    reviewing general condition around the wellfield to look for any signs of a fault that could be influencing the wellfield water quality;

d)    full and permanent treatment designs to ensure, if full treatment is required, we can fast-track; and

e)    investigating the possibility of continuing to supply non-chlorinated water to the Buick and Dowse bores.

20.  A wider investigation will be led by Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) on the condition and performance of the Waiwhetu aquifer.  We will assist with this process.  This investigation will be complex and difficult and could take months if not years before it is complete and even then it might be inconclusive.

21.  We expect to consult with the Hutt City Council and take a final decision to the GWRC on final treatment options within three months.  We will also consult with all councils, as should a full treatment be required then adjustments will need to be made to the GWRC investment programme.  Adding permanent treatment will defer other activities planned for the 2017/18 year.







Board Health and Safety Report and Dashboard



E.coli graph - total coliforms










Author: External Author (Wellington Water Ltd)