Quality and Value with every Project

Pukete 3 Wastewater Treatment Plant – Secondary Process Capacity Upgrade

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Hamilton City Council
Date Completed:
September 2021
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The Result

As a result of the above approach, an amicable agreement was made with the contractor to resolve these risks as a partnership which then saved the Council around $4 million dollars in potential mitigation costs.  By putting in the extra time to spend building a relationship with the contractor, management of key stakeholders, and applying wastewater treatment plant operations knowledge to the project, Neuflow Projects managed and mitigated risks and was able to provide effective and cost-saving solutions.  We also used our extensive knowledge to ensure that the management of the commissioning phase of the project went as smoothly as possible.


This project was a success, Neuflow Projects met all project objectives with the contractor and provided an upgraded wastewater treatment plant to not only meet future city wastewater treatment needs but providing the highest standard of wastewater treatment to date and protecting the Maaori (lifeforce) of Te Awa o Waikato (the Waikato River).


Hamilton City Council have now engaged Neuflow to project manage the new stage of the secondary process upgrade, the retrofits of the remaining bioreactors to a Bardenpho process. This exciting opportunity allows the Neuflow project team to demonstrate their skills in the planning stage of the project whilst ensuring learnings are taken and applied from the previous stage of the project. The construction of the bioreactor retrofits is planned to commence mid 2023 with a 12-month duration.

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I really want to say a big thank you to you for your approach in managing this project as there has been an awesome level of engagement and opportunities for the team to have input into the project, which is really appreciated not only by myself but also from the team.”

Hamilton City Council

The Project

Hamilton City has one Wastewater Treatment Plant, located on Pukete Road, which treats all of the city’s wastewater. 


A capacity review of the existing Wastewater Treatment Plant identified that the existing was nearing its process capacity, and a significant upgrade was required in order to meet future city wastewater treatment needs.  


A change in the secondary process from a Modified Ludzack eEttinger (MLE) to a 4- stage Bardenpho activated sludge configuration in a brand new bioreactor and clarifier process train was something new for the project and operations teams. Integrating new structures and technologies into the existing plant all whilst not impacting the 24/7 operation of the WWTP proved a challenge that the project underestimated during its planning stages. 


The entire project was an interesting challenge for Neuflow because we came into the project when it was around 25% complete.  It was at a crucial stage of the project because of two factors. 


The first factor was around the design of the project.  There was a design element of a separable portion of works that had never been completed and was identified by Neuflow early on.  Neuflow got this removed from the project altogether and will be delivering this element in the next stage of the Pukete WW Treatment Plant process upgrade which is known as Pukete 3B.   There was also a lack of engagement and approval in the design overall from the operations team.  As a result, the design ended up being a product that they didn’t typically operate which added to the challenge and delays which accumulated costs.  


The second factor was that the contractor was unable to proceed and there was a significant amount of outstanding information requests and key decisions needing to be made in order to be able to proceed with the physical works.  There were also some key risks that were not appropriately identified early in the planning stages of the project.  

Pukete Wastewater Treatment Plant

Our Approach

  • Neuflow Senior Project Manager engaged by Client in October 2019 as Client Representative. 
  • Full project health review undertaken with revised project management plan with risk profile updated - endorsed by Client. 
  • Project team formed with review of the design and outstanding information queries resolved to allow construction works to recommence (had been ‘on-hold’ for 4 months prior to Neuflow’s engagement. 
  • Contract control group reinstated to form a strong working relationship with the contractor. Neuflow Senior Project Manager with extensive knowledge of wastewater treatment increased site presence which allowed all information requests to be resolved rapidly 
  • Onsite commissioning activities led by the Neuflow team 
  • Asset information collection and capitalisation activities completed by the Neuflow team 
  • Execution of the project close-out process including facilitation of a number of ‘lesson learnt’ workshops to ensure that lessons captured throughout the project could be shared to the wider organisation to ensure a better understanding of the impacts of the issues that we experienced during this project. 

Neuflow's Project Team

Adam Donaldson
Senior Project Manager
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