Ministry backs Shannon discharge
The Environment Ministry is backing Horowhenua District Council's wish to continue discharging Shannon's treated wastewater into the Manawatu River, saying the council is trying to do the right thing.
While the Water and Environmental Care Association is appealing against the consent, saying the council should not be asking for a pipeline to the river, Ministry f spokesman Andrew Crisp said the council was heading towards a partial discharge, which would be better for the waterway.
‘The Horowhenua District Council's project will see treated wastewater removed from the river during low flows, when it is having the greatest impact."
The district council is set to receive $1.115 million to upgrade the Shannon treatment plant as part of the Fresh Start for Fresh Water Clean Up Fund.
"All projects supported by the cleanup fund are subject to agreed milestones and the ministry will be monitoring their progress carefully to ensure objectives are met," Mr Crisp said.
The pipeline would allow the council to discharge directly into the river, instead of Stansell's Drain - which flows into the Mangaore Stream and on to the river - but Horizons Regional Council approved a discharge for just four years, signalling that longer-term dependence on the pipeline might not be desirable.
Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney said the district council's partial discharge was in line with the Manawatu River Accord.
"The goal of the accord is to improve water quality and we are open to ways to do that.
"This [partial discharge] follows that premise."
Mr McCartney said discharging to land was not always practical.
"I think everyone would want that but . . . it depends on land types and suitability."
Green Party spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said Horowhenua District Council's attitude was disappointing and it should make a serious commitment to land-based treatment.
"The Manawatu River has some of the worst nutrient levels in New Zealand.
"Sewage discharges add to the already high nutrient, bacterial and pollution load."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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