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Environmental report reinforces need for wastewater system

25 June 2014

Environmental report reinforces need for Whaanga Coast wastewater system

An assessment of current on-site wastewater and disposal systems on Whaanga Coast properties has endorsed the installation of a new system to address environmental issues.

The independent report was commissioned by Waikato District Council in November 2013 to assess the performance of systems in the area, and to determine the level of public health risk from existing on-site wastewater treatment and land disposal systems.

Council Chief Executive Gavin Ion says the Ormiston Associates report supported Council’s decision to progress with installation of the new pipeline system in Whaanga Coast.

“Their key recommendation supported our decision to reticulate now to mitigate the public health risk from current on-site wastewater disposal systems. This recommendation is consistent with the message we’ve delivered throughout the project”.

The report also recommends that Council works closely with the community to identify, and address, issues such as financial implications and public education about the need for the system.

“We’ve aware of the need to address these factors and have put a number of strategies in place to address them.

“Firstly, we’ve offered a subsidy to existing property owners who connect to the scheme during construction. Secondly, we’ve made a considerable effort to engage with the community at a number of levels to keep them informed not only about the work programme, but also to help them understand the reasons behind the project and how it affects them. That’s why we’re keen to share this report with the community as it could help address any concerns they have about the new wastewater scheme.”

Mr Ion says consultation with local iwi has also been positive with Council representatives recently signing a Memorandum of Understanding with representatives from Te Whaanga 2B3B2 and 2B1 Ahu Whenua Trust around land use for the project.

“This is a significant event as it formalises the many discussions that have taken place over time to ensure the needs of both parties are met. It also allows further conversations to take place between two parties who have established a relationship based on open, and sometimes challenging, discussions.”

An executive summary of the environmental assessment report is available on the Waikato District Council website.

ENDS

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