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Funding granted for Central Interceptor extension

New Zealand wastewater

Watercare has announced that funding has been granted to extend the Central Interceptor wastewater tunnel by more than one kilometre.

The extension will go from Grey Lynn to Point Erin, Herne Bay to reduce wet weather overflows and significantly improve water.

The 4.5m diameter Central Interceptor tunnel runs from Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant to central Auckland, with two new link sewers collecting flows from west Auckland.

It is the largest wastewater infrastructure project in New Zealand’s history and will significantly reduce wet weather overflows into waterways.

TBM Hiwa-i-te-Rangi has travelled more than 11km since leaving Māngere in August 2021 and is approximately 60m under Mt Albert, heading towards Western Springs.

“The deal was about fixing Auckland’s water infrastructure,” Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said.

“We avoided major hikes in water charges, while enabling major investment in water infrastructure that will last generations and make Auckland a better place to live.

“I am pleased we have been able to make this important project possible. This is what a solution in action looks like.”

Watercare chief executive Dave Chambers said the tunnel extension is a significant milestone for the overall project.

“The Central Interceptor project will bring enormous environmental benefits because flows will be taken away to Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant for processing instead of overflowing into waterways and beaches during heavy rain,” Chambers said.

The Central Interceptor project is on track for completion in 2026. By then, it will be fully operational up to Grey Lynn. The Point Erin extension will be commissioned in 2028 when it connects to an upgraded Herne Bay Trunk Sewer.

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