Rural residents to lap up city water

BY ANDREA O'NEIL
Last updated 22:27 03/09/2012

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Pauatahanui Village's failing septic tanks have been consigned to history, with the city council agreeing to fund a pumped pressure sewerage system.

Councillors voted last week to adopt the water reticulation scheme as its preferred engineering scheme and to fund the full capital and operational costs.

A gravity flow system and replacement septic tanks, both more expensive options, were rejected.

The pump scheme will cost $1.3 million to install, with annual operating costs of $7500 and an annual depreciation cost to council of $19,000.

Any private funding of the scheme was rejected, although there will be a fee for properties on the scheme.

The expected fee has not been announced, although there are precedents to draw on - reticulated Judgeford properties pay 77c per cubic metre for their water; the Lighthouse Cinema paid $11,400 to connect to sewerage and water networks in 2004; and in 2011 the Taylor Stace Cottage paid $2700 for a sewerage connection.

The chosen pumped sewerage scheme covers 21 residential properties and five commercial properties in Pauatahanui Village, plus Pauatahanui School and St Alban's Church. The properties will remain on rural rates once the scheme is in place.

It has been 18 months since Pauatahanui residents approached the council about their ageing and substandard septic tanks. The low-lying properties in question are ''historically developed with basic on-site disposal systems that were never designed to cope with the demands of today's lifestyles'', a council report says.

Fees for the scheme will now be discussed with residents and the system is expected to be installed next year.

Mayor Nick Leggett urges the owners of the 28 properties to sign up to the scheme, so the council will get the maximum value out of its spend.

''We still need to get people to take the scheme up. We want a 100 per cent buy-in,'' he says.

Pauatahanui Residents' Association secretary Alan Gray says on the whole residents favour the scheme.

''We think it's the only practical way to go and we fully support it.''

Resistance can be expected from residents who have shelled out to fix their sewerage problem already, but he is confident about the council's persuasive powers.

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