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Councils collaborate on ocean outfall

Christchurch and Waimakariri councils collaborate on ocean outfall

A joint statement from Mayor Garry Moore of Christchurch and Mayor Jim Gerard of Waimakariri

Christchurch and Waimakariri councils are working together towards wastewater disposal solutions, as each organisation plans its own ocean outfall.

Waimakariri Mayor Jim Gerard says that the two councils have had ongoing dialogue as they work through the best way to deal with their districts’ effluent. “The staff involved meet from time to time to share information, and it’s a real positive that both councils employ the same consultant, URS New Zealand,” says Mr Gerard.

Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore says that among the activities where the councils are collaborating is the sharing of ocean current, wind, wave and seabed data, along with information on marine ecology.

During their respective consultations with the public, questions have been raised about the amount of coordination between the two adjacent councils, and why there is not just one outfall to serve both districts. The main reasons for separate outfalls are the high cost of building pipelines and pumping stations to transfer wastewater from one area to the other, and the different timeframes (dictated by the Resource Management Act) that the two councils are working to. These mean that a single, shared outfall is not a practicable option.

Jim Gerard says that the $31 million cost of the Waimakariri upgrade and outfall scheme is a severe burden for his ratepayers who could not afford the estimated extra $12 million capital cost for a shared outfall. “Added to this is the fact that the Waimakariri District Council has to meet pressing commitments and consent requirements to have the Rangiora effluent out of the Cam River by July 2006, while the Christchurch outfall won’t be ready for a least another two years after that, all going well,” says Mr Gerard.

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