New designs for a water treatment and reservoir storage facility on the corner of Southampton St East and Hastings St South is "almost ready" to be put before residents.
The council said the site was selected last year because of its proximity to the existing Eastbourne drinking water bores and pipe network.
Hastings District Council Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the construction of two urban water treatment and storage facilities were "critical elements" of Hastings' Drinking Water Strategy (2018).
The council is currently going through a resource consent process for one site located at Frimley Park, while the other is the Eastbourne site.
"Water storage and treatment facilities are a key component of keeping our drinking water safe, adding capacity and resilience to the network, and enabling Hastings to meet National Drinking Water Compliance Standards," she said.
The final detail of the new design, named Waiaroha in consultation with mana whenua, will initially be shared with Eastbourne site neighbours and then with the wider community as part of the council's engagement process.
Hazlehurst said an initial concept made public last year drew "considerable feedback", which had informed the current proposal.
"Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing our site plans and design options for the water treatment and storage facility with our community. This includes using trees, landscaping and architectural features to lessen the visual impact of the water storage while also creating an appealing space for the community to enjoy."
While initially one tall tank had been planned, this has now been changed to two smaller tanks. Between them they would hold the same amount of water but the profile would be lower. Extensive landscaping, including keeping the existing trees and putting in new plantings, would further soften the visual impact.
The two tanks would be set as far back as possible into the site, with a single-storey treatment building in-between them.
Council has also proposed to build and operate a water treatment and storage facility in Frimley Park, which includes a reservoir 38m in diameter and 9m tall to roof level, with a 6m-high domed roof and a utility building with a 480sq m floor area.
Last month a Hastings lobby group opposed to the proposal to construct the reservoir in the park claimed the structure would "industrialise" the popular amenity.
A petition opposing the proposal was submitted to the council during a commissioner's hearing - the decision of which is expected in the coming weeks.
The council said the cost of the necessary infrastructure is $14 million, which is budgeted for under the Hastings Drinking Water Strategy. Any costs outside of the infrastructure and required mitigation, estimated at $4 to $6m (subject to final design), would be funded externally – not by ratepayers.
In September last year, in the midst of a Hastings District mayoral race, details of a multimillion-dollar Water Central Facility in Hastings was leaked to Hawke's Bay Today.
That initial concept was abandoned earlier this year.
The council then launched a $25,000 investigation to find the source of the leak, which was unsuccessful.