Innovative water solution goes with the flow

Water Storage by Piritahi
Water Storage by Piritahi

Building homes at Northcote Development can be thirsty work. But what happens when the greater Auckland area has a water shortage?

That was the dilemma facing the Northcote Development team when Watercare announced usage restrictions in May this year. Water is needed for many aspects of construction, but contractors stopped being able to connect hoses and water-blasters to the metropolitan water supply network.

It turns out tanks were the answer.

Infrastructure Manager at Northcote Development, Umesh Daya, credits delivery partner Piritahi with the idea to use 9000-litre water tanks to provide grey water for Northcote Development projects, including the Tonar Street pipeline and Greenslade Reserve upgrade. There are two tanks at Greenslade Reserve and two at Tonar Street, some of which have been repurposed from demolished buildings. The four tanks collect rainwater and water from the old stormwater network, providing a much-needed water source at minimal cost.

“They use the water to wash down equipment and for dust suppression. When there’s dust on the road they use this grey water to cover the roads and cure concrete as needed. It’s pretty much all the stuff you don’t need clean water for,” Daya says.
The tanks have allowed work to continue and removed the need for water to be brought to site in tanker trucks, which can be costly.

“What Piritahi did was an innovative solution to this problem, instead of incurring a whole bunch of costs getting tankers or delaying the work, which has other adverse effects, such as the inability to deliver houses,” Daya says.

“It was about finding innovative ways to alleviate restrictions.”