Southland District Council looking into alternative wastewater options for Te Anau

Pattle Delamore Partners (PDP) technical director Robert Docherty.

Pattle Delamore Partners (PDP) technical director Robert Docherty.

Alternative options for the Te Anau sewerage scheme are being pursued by the Southland District Council (SDC) despite the council defending its original proposal in the Environment Court. 

At a Te Anau Wastewater Discharge Project Committee on Monday, three options were presented to the committee as to how to proceed with the project.

Council chief executive Steve Ruru said none of the three options were decided upon at the meeting but the council would continue to defend its Kepler option in the Environment Court.

The Kepler option is the council's present consented option which proposes to upgrade the existing treatment process in Te Anau and subsequent disposal of the treated wastewater at land around Te Anau Airport at Manapouri.

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Under the proposed scheme, a fine screen and aerators will be added to the existing Te Anau ponds to capture solid material and allow for extra treatment of wastewater. 

In addition to backing its Kepler option, the council would also draw up a list of potential other sites to explore as possible alternatives for the scheme, Ruru said.

"We're going to develop a programme of potential site visits," Ruru said.

He expected the creation of the list to take about two weeks.

The council would continue to defend its Kepler option in the Environment Court while these options were being looked at.

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A council-appointed peer review by Pattle Delamore Partners (PDP) has so far cost $236,000 of unbudgeted expenditure. Ruru said that cost would fall on ratepayers.

Ruru said the committee resolved to ask council for an additional $50,000 to cover further work associated with PDP to look into those other options. 

The committee will make a recommendation on the issue at the full council meeting at the end of April, allowing the council time to indicate to the Environment Court in May if it planned to continue with its consented Kepler option.

 - Stuff

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