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Chch water quality submissions close 31 March

3 March 2004

Water quality submissions close 31 March

Christchurch residents have until 31 March to tell the City Council what they expect in terms of water quality and beach standards when the city’s wastewater is piped out to sea.

City Council senior projects engineer John Moore says more than 130 submissions have been received to date.

“A number of submitters have also indicated that they wish to make a verbal submission to the Council.”

The City Council’s Sustainable Transport and Utilities Committee will hear verbal submissions on 26 and 27 April. The full Council is expected to make a decision later this year.

Mr Moore says the submissions, along with oceanographic and ecological studies, and cost considerations will help the Council decide which options to pursue when building the Ocean Outfall, such as how far the pipeline will go out to sea. The information will be used in the Council’s application for consent for construction of the Ocean Outfall.

He says the public needs to know that taking the city’s treated wastewater discharge out of the Estuary and piping it out to the ocean will help improve Christchurch beaches.

“Work either completed or under way at the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant is already producing a high standard of treated wastewater. We are confident that the Estuary environment will be further improved with the Ocean Outfall,” he says.

To have your say, please look on the web at www.ccc.govt.nz/oceanoutfall or pick up a brochure and submission form from your local library, City Council service centre or the Council’s Civic Offices in Tuam Street, or phone Tracey Edginton at the City Council on 941 6424 and ask for a submission form to be sent to you. Submissions must be in by 31 March 2004.

- Background
In 2001, the City Council applied for an extension for another 15 years to continue discharging the city's wastewater into the Estuary, based on upgrades being carried out to the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant.

However, following appeals Environment Canterbury granted the City Council consent only until 2009, which meant it had to come up with another way. In October 2002 the Council agreed to the preparation of an Assessment of Environmental Effects for an Ocean Outfall via a pipeline no less than 2 km long.

It is expected that the Ocean Outfall will be completed around 2009, depending on how long the planning and consents process takes.

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