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

Gordon Campbell:
On The Inquiry Into One Case Of Dirty Politics

Suddenly, we’re awash in inquiries and reviews. (It feels almost as if the Greens won the last election.) Caught out by the damning inquiry by SIS Inspector-General Cheryl Gwyn, the government’s response yesterday was utterly in character – it released two other major reports at the same time to try and distract public attention...

Inquiries are supposed to re-assure the public. What these inquiry outcomes share in common is a government culture of zero responsibility. More>>

IGIS: Statement On Early Report Release

As the Inspector-General stated at the release of the report yesterday morning, she is examining what steps to take over the early disclosure of information from the report... Ms Gwyn said that she was aware of Mr Goff's subsequent statements that he had disclosed some information concerning findings in the report. She will be seeking further information from Mr Goff and others. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS ON SIS:

 
 

Parliament Today:

Temporary Release Crackdown Continues: Corrections Review Of Phillip Smith Case

“The review by Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer reveals that the plan for Smith’s series of temporary releases was overly ambitious and misinformed. He’s a highly manipulative and deceptive person who although technically eligible, should not have been considered for temporary release." More>>

ALSO:

White Ribbon Day: Govt Resumes Sexual Violence Trial Proceedings Work

Justice Minister Amy Adams has asked the Law Commission to resume work on proposals for better supporting victims of sexual violence through the criminal process. The Law Commission will revisit its previous work on alternative pre-trial and trial processes to identify options for improving complainants’ experience in court. More>>

ALSO:

"New Faces, Wise Heads": Andrew Little Announces New Labour Line Up

Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Rick Ellis As Te Papa’s New CEO

The recent appointment of former TVNZ boss Rick Ellis to head Te Papa has copped a fair bit of criticism. Much of it has been inspired by the suspicion that Ellis has been hired to pursue the same purely commercial goals as he did at TVNZ, while similarly neglecting the serious cultural side of his mandate. More>>

Passport Cancellation, Surveillance: Draft 'Foreign Fighters Legislation' Released

The final draft of the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill contains proposals previously announced by Mr Key in a major national security speech earlier this month. More>>

ALSO:

Related

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014... More>>

ALSO:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news