North Shore City Council wins major Auckland-wide engineering award for stormwater project

Tuesday, 01 June, 2010

A clever mix of stormwater management, community involvement and environmental enhancement has won the North Shore City Council the prestigious Arthur Mead Environmental Award from the Auckland Branch of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand.

The Arthur Mead Environmental Award is presented annually to an outstanding engineering project that contributes to the preservation, conservation and improvement of the environment.

Council General Manager Infrastructure Services Geoff Mason says that the Bayside Reserve project in Browns Bay saw the transformation of a concrete channel and degraded stormwater pond into a naturalised stream channel and efficient stormwater treatment pond.

He says that the Bayside project was intended to manage stormwater in a way that also enhanced the natural environment and landscape values of the reserve, increased the storage capacity of the stormwater system and improved the quality of the stormwater after it left the ponds.

“This project transformed the area into an attractive, yet functional community resource that the entire neighbourhood can enjoy, whilst at the same time treating contaminants in the stormwater run-off from the surrounding area.

He says that an important component of the project was the involvement of the community in the design and development of the project.

“We were able to work with a very enthusiastic local community to create an environment which they would appreciate and value. And, as an extension of the project, property owners downstream of the reserve also enhanced the stream on their private properties.”

The award judges said that every element of the project was of the highest calibre - the application, presentation, promotional poster and the site visit itself. They commented on how the council’s community engagement approach went above and beyond normal standards expected for this type of project.

The judging criteria included:

  • Consideration of sustainability values
  • Manner in which the project addresses potential adverse environmental effects and incorporates environmental enhancement and innovation
  • Attention to cleaner production, waste reduction, environmental risk management
  • Community consultation/participation
  • Site visit

The award is named after Arthur Mead, who was Auckland City’s Chief Engineer for water supply from 1929 to 1953. He was one of the earliest proponents of environmental engineering in the Auckland Region.

Further information on the Bayside Reserve stormwater project can be found at http://www.northshorecity.govt.nz.

Further information regarding the IPENZ Arthur Mead Environmental Award can be found at http://www.ipenz.org.nz.

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