28 June 2019
Central Otago District Council's delivery of the Cromwell Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade has seen it win the Environment and Sustainability Award at the IPWEA (Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia), NZ Annual Excellence Awards.
The Award recognises the public works project that has best identified and managed environmental impacts while improving the quality of the local environment.
The Award was presented at the IPWEA Conference Dinner on Thursday, 27 June, at the TSB Arena, Wellington.
There were seven entries in the Environmental and Sustainability category, including entries from Auckland Council, New Zealand Transport Agency, KiwiRail and North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance, Wellington Water, Watercare, Manawatu District Council, and Tonkin and Taylor.
The Cromwell Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade commenced in January 2016 and was completed ahead of time in September 2018 and $2.8m under budget.
The Upgrade was designed to improve the quality of the district's urban wastewater discharges into Lake Dunstan.
Central Otago District Council Executive Manager - Infrastructure Services Julie Muir said the Council team is immensely proud of the positive environmental benefits delivered to the local community.
"We take our role as environmental guardians very seriously and are thrilled to see this acknowledged by our industry peers."
The key features of the Cromwell Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade include:
- New native planting, restoration and reinforcement of surrounding embankments, as well as future proofing against earthquake damage.
- Removal of chemicals from the filtering process and creation of an environment that saw E.coli levels improve by 1000 times.
- Connection of Bannockburn to the Cromwell treatment plant resulting in the elimination of discharges at Bannockburn, and restoration of land at Bannockburn which contained wastewater ponds.
- The upgraded water treatment method and processes are far more environmentally friendly than other chemical options available. The treated water discharged is immediately swimmable and has improved the quality and environment of the river and lake.
The Cromwell Wastewater Treatment Plant has also been designed and built so that it can easily and cost effectively be up-scaled as the population growth dictates.
All aspects of the project were underpinned by Council's Sustainability Strategy document 2019 – 2024, which aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
IPWEA President Samantha Gain said: "This project goes significantly further than simply meeting regulatory requirements, we believe it sets the bar much higher for the integration of sustainable practices into public works projects throughout New Zealand."