Residents told to embrace wastewater proposal

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 05:00 08/03/2013

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Wastewater plan upsets residents

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Just 26 objections have been lodged so far against plans to install wastewater tanks in 5500 Christchurch properties considered at high risk of liquefaction, but the city council is bracing for more.

The Christchurch City Council, the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team and the Government will spend more than $82 million installing the tanks, which are part of new low-pressure sewer system being introduced in parts of Parklands, Aranui, Shirley, Woolston, Hoon Hay, Halswell, Southshore, and Richmond.

The authorities say the tanks are a more resilient solution for households in areas prone to liquefaction, but some residents are unhappy at having them sited on their land and fear they will be lumped with the electricity costs of running them, estimated at an average of $23.50 a year.

The council's environment and infrastructure committee was yesterday told a rates rebate proposed in the council's draft Three Year Plan would offset the small cost of running the plant.

Committee member Barry Corbett pointed out that people with tanks were likely to incur fewer costs than other homeowners.

If any faults or blockages occurred in the pipes between a person's house and the tanks the council would be liable for the cost of repairs.

"If anything they are going to be better off," Corbett said.

Council solicitor Ian Thomson said the council had to get the written consent of affected property owners before it could proceed with any work on their properties. The experience to date was that the response had been mostly positive.

"However, 26 owners have objected so far and the scale of the project is such that there is potential for relatively high numbers of objections to be received," Thomson said in a report.

The committee has agreed to set up a hearings panel to consider any objections that are lodged.

If property owners are unhappy with the panel's decision they can appeal to the district court.

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- The Press

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