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Opal Drive

Whakahoutanga pū waipara ki Opal Drive, ki Pāpāmoa

Opal Drive wastewater pipeline upgrade Pāpāmoa

Tauranga City Council is renewing a section of the wastewater pipeline in Pāpāmoa as part of a vital infrastructure upgrade.

Works started in May 2022 and are scheduled to be completed October 2023.

What is wastewater?

Wastewater is the water we use in our homes every day. Each time you flush the toilet, pull the plug from a sink or have a shower, the water drains into a wastewater pipe on your property. That pipeline connects to the wastewater network, which carries the water safely to a treatment plant where the water is treated (cleaned) and then released.

Why do these pipes need an upgrade?

Over time wastewater pipes deteriorate due to wear and tear and need replacing. The current wastewater pipes at Opal Drive are around 25 years old.

With this upgrade, we are also increasing the capacity of the pipes to accommodate the future wastewater needs related to forecasted growth in the area.

The Opal Drive upgrade will rebuild a section of the wastewater pipeline that starts at the Opal Drive pump station and connect to a newer section of the pipeline at the intersection of Gravatt Road and Beachwater Drive.

The existing wastewater pipeline runs along the southern side of Topaz Reserve, up Domain Road and along the southern side of Gravatt Road, which you can see in the map below:

Opal Drive waste water pipeline

Track closures

As different times, this work will require track closures. When this applies, signs will be installed at reserve entrance and exits, to direct pedestrians and cyclists to alternative routes where relevant.

The footpath on Gravatt Road at the corner with Beachwater Drive will be closed while work connecting the pipeline continues. The boardwalk is open and accessible via the path on Beachwater Drive. A small section of the reserve remains fenced off to keep heavy machinery secure.

Once all work has concluded, expected mid October, the walkways to Gravatt Road will reopen.

Gravatt Closure

Community feedbackon Pipeline routes

Council asked for feedback on four different wastewater route options in August 2021.

For each route, high-level investigations were completed to make sure they were feasible options for the community to provide feedback on.

To determine the best route for the pipeline we needed to consider the following points:

  • Impacts on the community
  • Community feedback
  • Environmental impacts
  • Cost of and risks of construction
  • Geotechnical considerations (the ground underneath each route)
  • Health and safety of the project, and ongoing health and safety risks
  • Impacts on existing utility services
  • Resilience in the case of natural disasters

community feedback

Feedback received was collated and together showed that the preferred option was route two as indicated above. This route would see works happen in the reserve with a boardwalk behind Fashion Island.

The results from the feedback showed that 56% of respondents were in favour of the above ground option (route two in the image above) and 11% supported the below ground option (route one in the image above). Feedback received, showed no preference or desire for the route to be constructed via Domain Road and Topaz Drive.

Selected Route

Selected Route

The final design includes three sections of pipeline between Opal Drive Pump Station and Gravatt Road:

  • Section One is an underground pipeline from Opal Drive Pump station, that runs under Domain Road and behind Pak’n Save/Fashion Island. This is indicated by the orange line in Topaz Drive Reserve in the image above. An underground pipeline means that we dig a trench and bury the pipeline under the ground.
  • Section Two is an above ground pipeline that will have a boardwalk over it. This is indicated on the map above by the dark yellow line. The above ground pipeline will consist of a stainless steel 450mm diameter pipe that is tucked under the boardwalk.
  • Section Three will see the pipeline go underground again from the end of the boardwalk as it connects with the main wastewater pipeline at Gravatt Road (where it intersects with Beachwater Drive).

Key information

Project type
Major projects
Planning, design and renewal
Water services


Pāpāmoa / Pāpāmoa East

Key dates

  • Engagement - gathering feedback on concept designs

    August 2021
  • Feedback received and incorporated into final design

    September 2021
  • Detailed design presented to community

    February 2022
  • Procurement of contractor

    November 2021 to February 2022
  • Construction

    February 2023
  • Works complete

    October 2023

Who's listening

Richard Conning
Tauranga City Council

Phone: 07 577 7000

Other ways to get involved

Tauranga is your city. We’re working to make it even better.

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