Helping Christchurch City Council manage water supply risks with a new well
Christchurch, the largest city on New Zealand’s South Island, like any growing city faces increasing demand for water. As a result of growth and changes in climate, the Council’s water customers faced potentially increased restrictions on water use. The chosen solution was to develop a new well supplying enough water to reduce demand on the existing water wells. With our extensive background in water infrastructure engineering, project management, and access to multidisciplinary technical expertise, we took on the role of providing construction monitoring and contract administration services.
One of the deepest aquifers in the region was chosen for the new well. Due to its depth, limited hydrogeology information was available. The initial drilling works revealed unforeseen ground conditions—clay bound gravels—requiring changes in the drilling method which significantly reduced the drilling rate and was better suited to the ground conditions. Delays below ground meant concern above ground. As Engineer’s Representative, we worked to maintain clear communication between all parties. We also fostered a “best for project” approach, making clear our common goal to complete the project to a high technical standard.
Our guidance provided stability and a “sounding board” for decision making by the client. For example, we assisted in developing a solution to manage high sediment load and flows by proposing to use a PrimePump Lamella Clarifier. With project completion, Christchurch can meet greater need for water with a robust and reliable supply system.
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