The long-awaited Kaitāia Water Project is on track to be completed by May next year, according to an FNDC spokesperson.
The Kaitāia Water Project is the delivery of a new water source to the township of Kaitāia from the Sweetwater Aquifer.
Construction of the pipeline started on July 30 and is predicted to be finished by May 2022- a month behind schedule due to the level 4 lockdown.
FNDC Major and Recovery Projects manager David Clamp said more than 16,700 hours had been worked on so far by the full construction team led by Ventia.
He said two bores had now been drilled and construction of a 14km transfer pipeline and pump station was underway.
"This new water source can provide up to 5,000m3 of aquifer water to the people of Kaitāia every day – and will not be hindered on summer droughts like the current water source from the Awanui River," Clamp said.
"Currently 7,900m of pipe has been installed by Horizontal Direct Drilling (HDD) along Bonnetts Rd, Gills Rd and Sandhills Rds and a further 1000m installed by open trenching through private properties.
"That brings the total to 8,900m installed to date, and along with ongoing pipe installation the crews are pressure-testing sections of pipe as it is installed."
The objective of the Kaitaia Water project is to deliver a sustainable alternative source of potable water (other than the Awanui River), with at least 100 days of resilience.
The scope of the project includes two production bores to ensure adequate supply and allow for maintenance, a pipeline to the Water Treatment Plant at Okahu Road and a connection into the Water Treatment Plant.
The bore site will include buffer tanks and a booster pump to convey water from the buffer tanks to the water treatment plant, along with power and telemetry.
Clamp said in addition to the pipeline installation works, a significant development was occurring at the bore site in preparation for the transfer of the water.
"A further 463m of the pipeline has been installed, which takes water from the two bores to the new pump station," he said.
"The pump station will consist of three large pumps and 6 30,000m3 buffer tanks to aid in the water supply."
The cost of building Kaitaia's drinking water resilience has previously been reported to have climbed to $16.7 million, more than six times the $2.6 million the Far North District Council originally spent developing the Sweetwater bore project when it began work almost a decade ago.
That's about 50 per cent more than the council's most recent $11.3m estimate for Sweetwater water resilience efforts.
Kaitaia had strict water restrictions for several months last year after the sixth drought in nine years hit the region, and the Awanui River, the town's main supply, fell to record low levels.
The Sweetwater bore project dates almost a decade, on land offered to the council after the 2010 drought.
The council has had consent to take the required water since 2012.