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Contingency planning for Waiheke's wastewater


2 December 2005

Contingency planning for Waiheke's wastewater

The review of the Hauraki Gulf's district plan will be an opportunity to look at contingency provisions for the disposal of wastewater, including biosolids, on Waiheke Island.

Auckland City's Works and Services Committee chair, Councillor Neil Abel, says, "The next district plan will take the gulf islands forward until 2020, so we need to use the opportunity presented by the review to think about how to treat and dispose of wastewater on Waiheke Island in places where on-site disposal may become unsustainable."

Auckland City prepared a Water and Sanitary Services Assessment for the Hauraki Gulf Islands in early 2004, which recommended that Waiheke Island continue down the path of onsite wastewater management on the island.

However, it also said that as a contingency measure, Auckland City would need to look at 'cluster' systems of wastewater disposal. Cluster wastewater schemes provide small community-based wastewater reticulation and treatment systems.

Councillor Abel says Auckland City will prepare another Water and Sanitary Services Assessment in 2007, which will review wastewater disposal on Waiheke Island and make recommendations regarding cluster wastewater systems.

Councillor Abel says that the district plan review will also be a good opportunity to look at the appropriateness of providing planning rules for activities associated with wastewater reticulation treatment and disposal on Waiheke Island.

"Biosolids are currently disposed of at two commercial facilities, which together have sufficient capacity to meet Waiheke Island's needs. However, in a situation where one of the commercial facilities is temporarily closed, we need to look at alternative sites for disposal," he says.

"Auckland City currently has a back-up facility which has consent until 2009 to take biosolids but hasn't been used to date. We will look at options for extending the use of this site in the event of a commercial site being temporarily closed, as well as other options for emergency or temporary disposal."

The new district plan will be publicly notified in August 2006.


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