Pukekohe WWTP Upgrade


Customer: Watercare Services Ltd

Contract: Design & Construct

Location: Auckland, New Zealand




Project Capabilities

Civil Mechanical & Electrical

 Fast Facts

  • 3,500 m underground pipe
  • 5,500 m stainless pipe
  • Upgrade will more than double the capacity of the current plant

Delivering another state of the art wastewater treatment plant upgrade to Auckland

Watercare engaged McConnell Dowell (in joint venture) to upgrade the Pukekohe WWTP to support population growth in Franklin and improve the quality of the water discharge into theWaikato River. The upgrade will more than double the capacity of the current plant, enabling it to cater for up to 60,000 people.

We will convert the current reactors that clean the water into activated sludge reactors and construct a third reactor, increasing the plant’s current capacity. We are also constructing a new UV disinfection system, which will greatly improve the water quality being released into the Parker Lane stream and Waikato River.

Once complete, Pukekohe WWTP will be one of the most advanced plants of its kind in the country.

The challenge

Resource consent conditions require the new plant to be operational by October 2020, meaning the project has to be delivered to a very tight construction programme. Watercare had a limited budget project for the project, requiring us to value engineer aggressively to win and deliver it.

WWTPs are highly complex projects combining major civil works with a significant mechanical build. With multiple work fronts, work at height and in confined spaces, in both greenfield and constrained brownfield environments adjacent to and within the Pukekohe WWTP, this project is challenging from a health and safety perspective.

The solution

We drew on our learnings from the award-winning Mangere BNR project to fast-track the construction programme and value-engineer the project to bring it within budget.

Our experience on Mangere BNR (the largest mechanical installation undertaken in New Zealand in the last 15 years) provides the ideal grounding to manage the complex mechanical works and commissioning for Pukekohe.

We will bring some of the health and safety initiatives used successfully on Mangere BNR to deliver the project safely, including developing a strong safety culture, robust permitting procedures, and a thorough training and awareness programme to ensure all staff understand and strive to mitigate safety risks associated with working in this high hazard environment.

Key to success

Many key members of the leadership team from Mangere BNR are now working on Pukekohe WWTP, bringing with them a deep understanding of the challenges of building a high-spec waste water treatment plant and the associated health and safety requirements.

Extensive engagement with Watercare, Te Taniwha o Waikato (a group of nine marae covering iwi and hapū in the Lower Waikato River) stakeholders and neighbours is integral to delivering the project successfully.

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