Ashhurst sewage to be piped away to city

Ashhurst's sewage is going to be pumped to Palmerston North through a pipeline that will also service new homes to be built at Whakarongo.

The $4.7 million pipeline was recommended by the city council's planning and policy committee this week.

The solution avoids the need for the council to apply for a new resource consent to continue discharging from Ashhurst's treatment ponds into the Manawatu River.

The consent runs out in August next year, and a new application would have to be lodged by February.

Cr Ross Linklater said he was pleased with a solution that addressed two issues - the difficulty of seeking a new discharge consent, and the needs of a new residential area - as well as relieving Whakarongo School's dependence on a septic tank.

But Cr Chris Teo-Sherrell thought the opposite.

He did not believe the council had given enough consideration to options of disposing Ashhurst's sewage to land.

"That's something we should do before we launch down the engineering solution of a pipeline."

He said it would impose an extra load on the city's Totara Rd wastewater treatment plant, which was already struggling to meet the condition of its discharge consent regarding its harmful effect on river life downstream.

"It could be adding to that problem, and I don't believe it's the most appropriate way to go."

Water and waste services manager Rob Green said the 2008 upgrade of the plant had taken into account the possible extra flow from Ashhurst.

He said the preliminary cost estimate was below the $5.5m budget set aside by the council.

There were 17 different pathways considered for the pipeline.

The preferred route connected to the existing city network at Roberts Line.

That involved an uphill section that would have to be pumped, but was shorter than a link at Brightwater Tce and was a better fit for servicing the Whakarongo area.

Manawatu Standard