Big wastewater bills await Shore residents to sort out problems in other parts of Auckland, councillor George Wood says.
Mr Wood is shocked at Watercare plans for a $166 million tunnel bringing wastewater from the former Waitakere city and parts of Rodney to Rosedale Treatment plant in Albany.
Shore ratepayers contributed millions under the former council paying for upgrades to the Albany plant so it could cope with future growth.
A further $116m was also spent on a new wastewater tunnel and outfall off Mairangi Bay Beach, taking treated sewage further out to sea.
"The North Shore had our house in order, so to speak, but we are now paying the price of poor future proofing and planning in other parts of Auckland with higher projected costs for wastewater and that coupled with ever-increasing rates, things are not looking good for the future."
Watercare presented its plans last week "as a fait accompli" and the community is being kept in the dark, Mr Wood says.
Mr Wood says Watercare has its eye on Rosedale as a "saviour" to capacity problems at Mangere treatment plant.
Rosedale was upgraded in the early to mid 2000s to cope with a population of 330,000 when North Shore had a population of 220,000, he says.
North Shore is growing rapidly and massive population growth is planned in Kumeu and Huapai which will put a strain on the Rosedale plant, he says.
Wastewater will also be discharged off North Shore's coast and Mr Wood fears the environmental impact.
Watercare spokesman Owen Cook says the proposal is in the design stage and no route has been chosen.
"When Watercare's decision-making process has reached a stage that it has something concrete to take to residents, the usual robust consultation process will take place," Mr Cook says.
"George Wood has been briefed on several occasions on the concept plan to utilise some of the considerable excess capacity at the Rosedale treatment plant, including as late as last week."
Mr Cook says the project is not expected to be finished before 2020.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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