New Wellington reservoir comes on stream

25 May 2016

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown today opened the valve and connected the new $3.5 million Mt Albert Reservoir to Wellington’s main water supply.

The new reservoir, which is on the ridge above the National Hockey Stadium in Berhampore, holds 2.2 million litres of water, two and a half times the volume of its 105-year-old predecessor, and triples the stored water for the Melrose, Southgate and Houghton Bay areas.

Mayor Wade-Brown says the reservoir is good for Wellington’s resilience.

“The new reservoir will be resilient to a severe earthquake and also provide for the area’s projected population growth,” she says.

Much has been done to earthquake-strengthen Wellington city’s water network over the last 20 years. 

“Now almost 70 percent of stored water in Wellington City is in seismically strengthened reservoirs.”

More than 80 percent have automatic shut-off valves so the reservoirs don’t empty if the pipe network is damaged. 

“We can all be prepared for an earthquake,” says Mayor Wade-Brown. “Damage could occur in many places on the network and it may not be convenient to collect water from the big reservoirs – we encourage households to store enough water for at least seven days by installing a rainwater tank as well.” 

Councillor Iona Pannett, who chairs the Council’s Environment Committee, says new reservoirs, like the one on Mt Albert, are making the region’s water storage and supply network stronger and safer, and are also being built to have less impact on our parks and reserves.

“Unlike its predecessor, this one is below ground,” she says. “The area will be planted and landscaped this winter, restoring and providing additional recreational space in a spot that provides some of the most spectacular views of the south coast.”

Funded by Wellington City Council with construction managed by Wellington Water, the reservoir took 16 months to build. Work involved demolishing the old reservoir, excavating approximately 1500m³ of earth, installing underfloor drainage, laying the slab and erecting the walls.