Phosphorus plan put to the test

JANINE RANKIN
Last updated 11:52 04/03/2014

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A $30,000 pilot is being carried out to check that the Palmerston North City Council's proposals to extract more phosphorus from the city's treated wastewater discharge will work.

Special projects manager Phil Walker said the full-sized equipment, which would remove particulate phosphorus that remained in the flow after alum dosing, was planned to be installed in the next two years.

The council has $2.9 million in its budget for the upgrade.

It is the council's response to a review of its resource consent triggered by the Horizons Regional Council after monitoring confirmed the discharge was affecting algal growth and bug life in the Manawatu River.

"As with any design of large wastewater process equipment, a pilot trial is usually desirable," Mr Walker told the council's planning and policy committee yesterday.

"We need to confirm that the consent conditions likely to be set through hearings are achievable and practical for us."

Mr Walker said while the trial was going ahead, staff were also looking into concerns that altering the balance of nitrogen and phosphorus in the river could favour the growth of blue-green algae that could release toxins powerful enough to kill dogs.

He was expecting further consultancy advice by the end of the month.

Mr Walker said the council still did not have a response from Horizons to its disc filter proposal, nor had dates been set for the hearing.

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- Manawatu Standard

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