Hamilton Waterworld Upgrade

WSP helped Waterworld with its upgrade by providing solutions to its big problems including weakening pipes at risk of failure, excess humidity and noise.


  • Hamilton, New Zealand


  • Hamilton City Council

Project Value

  • $10.8m

Project Status

  • Estimated completion date: November 2020

Waterworld is the Waikato region's largest swimming complex and the flagship facility for Hamilton City Council's Hamilton Pools operation. Originally opened in 1976 the complex was showing signs of age. WSP worked with Hamilton City Council on this significant refurbishment that included replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, the filtration and pump equipment for the complex's main pools, lighting improvements and an increase (by about 20cm) to the depth of the 50m pool.


Waterworld had been dealing with problems as a result of its ageing systems, including weakening pipes at risk of failure, and excess humidity and noise. Hamilton City Council decided to significantly invest in the facility and ensure the community had a aquatic complex that met its needs.


WSP provided groundwater monitoring services and mitigation solutions to enable the construction to be undertaken during the winter season. In addition, our engineers were able to investigate the condition of other areas of the building during the close down period and provide advice on additional refurbishment opportunities to improve the building’s service life. To minimise impact on facility users, a tight programme was required for the refurbishment. This required strong project management and proactive problem solving. Examples of this include ballast to empty the main pool to mitigate rising groundwater and allowing work to continue. To ensure operational efficiency, care to staging and construction sequencing and planning.


This was an exciting and significant project for Waterworld and Hamilton City Council. The refurbishment ensures Hamilton residents have access to world class aquatic facilities and, with FINA accreditation, means the region can host national championships. WSP’s work delivered considerable cost savings when compared to the previously planned facility rebuild, along with considerable improvements of water and environment quality, energy efficient lighting and greater fire protection. 


The water is faster – flush gutters restrict wave refraction and allow smoother surface profile.

Future Ready Principles - environmental – economical lighting, asbestos pipes removed, re-use of a facility vs building a new one.