Submitters against wastewater consent

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 07:43 24/02/2014

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Submitters have overwhelmingly come out against a proposed resource consent to allow the discharge of wastewater from Shannon into the Manawatu River.

Horowhenua District Council has applied for a range of consents to allow it to discharge up to 79 per cent of Shannon's wastewater to land, with the balance being piped into the Manawatu River.

At present all of Shannon's wastewater, after treatment, is piped into Stansell's Drain, which eventually flows into the Manawatu River.

Ngati Whakatere, a Shannon hapu that has its marae within sight of where wastewater would flow into the Manawatu River, were adamant only the full discharge to land was acceptable.

"Ngati Whakatere find the practice of discharging any actual/proposed wastewater/treated wastewater into our taonga culturally, spiritually and physically abhorrent and offensive."

The hapu wrote that Horowhenua District Council's consultation with it had been "non-existent".

The council bought an 85-hectare farm neighbouring the wastewater plant, known as the Velvaleen Farm, in December last year for land-based discharge. However, only 25ha of the farm will be used for this purpose, according to the resource consent application. The council is considering selling the remainder of the property to offset costs.

Foxton Beach residents Christina and George Paton raised concerns that the land the council had purchased for land-based discharge was a flood hazard area.

The submission from ratepayers' group Shannon Progressive said the community wanted all wastewater discharged onto land. "Public opinion and ratepayers do not support the necessity for any pollution of freshwater resources."

Although it did not state whether it supported the granting of the resource consent, Environment Network Manawatu's submission said it supported actions that minimised human sewage discharge to waterways.

Fish & Game's submission raised concerns over "the inadequate level of treatment of the wastewater before it is discharged". It queried whether the wastewater was suitable to be discharged to land.

Nor was the organisation impressed with the idea of discharging some treated waste being piped into the Manawatu River citing concerns about potential impacts on recreation and trout.

The consent will be considered later this year by Horizons Regional Council.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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