Who is responsible for our water and wastewater network
Watercare Services Limited is responsible for providing and maintaining the drinking water (water supply) network and the sewerage system (wastewater network).
Watercare is funded from user charges for water and wastewater. Stormwater, the network that deals with rainwater from urban areas, roads etc., is managed from within the council and is funded by rates and borrowings.
Water and wastewater problems we need to address
The water and wastewater networks are mostly in good shape and are being developed to cope with the growth of Auckland.
However, much of the stormwater network is ageing and does not have sufficient capacity for the growth that is happening.
In some areas there are still combined stormwater and wastewater networks. It is these issues that cause major problems in heavy rainfall, with sewage and other contaminants polluting our natural waterways.
How we will address these problems
We did have a programme to fix these issues over the next 30 years but this will now be accelerated and addressed over the next 10 years.
This programme will deliver:
Stormwater upgrades and wastewater/stormwater separation in the western isthmus
- Reduce overflows into the Waitematā and Manukau harbours.
- Beaches from Meola Reef to the Viaduct will be swimmable.
- Reduction in intermittent beach closures.
- Rehabilitation of western isthmus streams.
- Reduce demand on the waste water network from stormwater, allowing greater housing intensification in the western isthmus catchments.
Infrastructure for stormwater contaminant removal across the region
- Reduction of sediment into the Kaipara Harbour.
- Reduction in stormwater contaminants across the region.
Rehabilitation of urban and rural streams
- Improve the ecological health of streams and reduces flow of contaminants into harbours.
- Enable urban development in areas such as Oamaru Creek in East Tamaki.
- Stabilise areas of high stream erosion, reducing sedimentation in the harbours and protecting property and infrastructure.
Introduction of a proactive regional septic tank monitoring programme
- Develop a regional database of onsite systems, their design parameters and maintenance records.
- First step in identifying the individual properties contributing to the degradation of beaches and waterways, such as at Piha, Bethells Beach, and Little Oneroa on Waiheke Island.
How we will pay for this
Some of this work will be funded from Watercare's water and wastewater charges.
These were already projected to increase by 2.5 per cent per year for water supply and 3.3 per cent per year for wastewater. This increase will be sufficient to cover Watercare's contribution to the programme.
To pay for the balance ($452 million) we have decided to implement a targeted rate, based on property value.
This will cost the average residential ratepayer $66 per year, and the average business ratepayer $308 per year.