Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Bugs save ratepayers millions

26 February 2013

Bugs save ratepayers millions

They saved the world from Martian invaders in H.G. Well’s 1898 classic ‘War of the Worlds’ and they are at it again – this time saving the ratepayers of South Taranaki millions of dollars!

A report on the trial using bacteria to remove sludge from the Hawera Wastewater treatment pond, presented at last night’s (25 February) South Taranaki District Council (STDC) meeting, has shown excellent results with an estimated 22% of the sludge removed over the last 9 months.

Report author, STDC operations and projects manger, Viv Eyberg says the results are extremely positive and believes the innovative solution to sludge removal will be able to be used across all Council wastewater ponds.

“I understand this unique trial is a New Zealand first in municipal wastewater systems and will save the Council and our ratepayers $3.7 million over the next four years.”

“Calculating the amount of sludge reduced is not an exact science, however we have conservatively calculated a 22% reduction which is about 18,700 cubic metres,” he says.

Mr Eyberg says the process while unique is all natural.

“The process basically involves putting bacteria which produce enzymes (called exoenzymes) into the wastewater pond. These exoenzymes help break the organic waste in the pond down into a soluble form which can then be more easily consumed by the bacteria. The process of converting the larger particles of sludge into a soluble food is very slow and can be affected by temperature. However once the organic waste has been broken down it’s then rapidly consumed and is largely converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, along with new bacterial cells. The bacteria which produce the exoenzymes are naturally occurring and have not been modified in any way,” he says.

“There is 85,000 cubic metres of sludge in the Hawera Wastewater pond which, using the traditional method, would involve mechanically dredging and separating the sludge. This is a relatively expensive process which also requires a site to bury the sludge,” says Mr Eyberg.

To date the biological trial has cost $164,000 with the final cost of total removal estimated to be $646,000. This represents a saving of $3.7 million from the $4.38 million that had been budgeted for sludge removal in the Council’s Long Term Plan.

However, as well as the financial benefits the report also highlights the environmental benefits of biological sludge removal which are considerable when compared to simply sending the sludge to landfill.

Based on the trial’s results the Council endorsed the future use of biological removal of sludge in other wastewater treatment ponds within the district, starting with Waverley in spring/summer 2013/14.

STDC Chief Executive, Craig Stevenson says his Council is delighted with the results so far. “Nationally beneficial reuse or responsible disposal of bio-solids is a big issue and it’s great to see STDC is at the forefront of an innovative solution that is environmentally responsible and saves our ratepayers a great deal of money. This solution has the potential to save the local government sector tens of millions of dollars and I understand there is already a lot of interest from other Council’s around the country.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Auckland Relocation Grants: 12 Grants Paid So Far

Since the policy took effect one month ago, 12 applicants have received the non-recoverable grant, supporting 32 people. $54,508 has been paid out, covering things like moving costs, bond, rent in advance and letting fees. More>>

ALSO:

Vaccine Funding Change: HPV Vaccines For All Children

PHARMAC has today announced changes to funded vaccines, which will benefit an extra 100,000 people... The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available for all children and adults up to the age of 26 years, and boys will now be included in the HPV school vaccination programme. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Opinion Polls For Key And Trump Defy Gravity

What is going on? Donald Trump got confirmed as the Republican presidential candidate at a bizarrely chaotic political convention… and promptly received an upwards bump in the polls to where he’s now rating ahead of Hillary Clinton, for only the second time this year. More>>

Sugar: Auckland Leisure Centres Axe Unhealthy Drinks

Auckland Council is to stop selling drinks that are sweetened by sugar from vending machines at its leisure centres in a bid to try to reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Todd McClay’s Faulty Memory

Time and again, whenever an issue arises the initial response by government is to deny or diminish the problem – nothing to worry about here, everything’s OK, move on. Then, hang on. In line with the usual pattern, as embarrassing details emerged into daylight, the story changed. More>>

ALSO:

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news