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Christchurch City Council Media Release 20 August 1999

Wastewater Decision Rescheduled For New Year

Extra time is required by the Christchurch City Council before it can make a decision on the future of the City's wastewater discharge, Council City Services Committee Deputy Chair Cr Ron Wright announced today.

Cr Wright said the Council and the public needed more information in order to make the best possible decision for Christchurch's future generations.

He said public consultation, which was previously scheduled for later this year, would now take place early in the year 2000.

"This will be one of the most important decisions the Council has ever taken. It will have far-reaching financial and environmental consequences into the next millennium - and will help guarantee one of the Council's core services for the next 50 years. Some of the scientific study needed has taken a little longer to satisfactorily complete than anticipated. At the same time we are committed to a reasonable period of public consultation so that everyone who wants to can have their say.

"It would not be appropriate to run public consultation on such an important matter over Christmas and the holiday break. Council will instead formally go to the public early next year, giving residents and ratepayers an ample opportunity to properly consider the issue, based on thorough research," he said.

Two options for the City's treated wastewater are being developed for the Council by consultants Woodward Clyde. They are either to continue to discharge into the Avon-Heathcote estuary or to build an outfall pipe into the ocean off South Brighton. Once a decision is taken, the Council will apply for consent to discharge wastewater under the Resource Management Act. This application is due in March 2001.

Cr Wright said spending extra time now would ensure the best possible decision is made next year.

"Some of the environmental impacts of each option need to be considered in more detail. Our consultants have built a detailed picture of tides, winds and currents in the Estuary and Pegasus Bay, but are still working through what impact these have on the various substances which are present in the treated wastewater which is discharged into the environment. Answers to these questions will help determine what standard of treatment isappropriate, which location is best for the outfall and what price the City will be prepared to pay for this vital service," he said.

Cr Wright said the public will have two months to make submissions on the wastewater discharge issue and Council could expect to make a final decision some time in May or June next year.

For further information contact:

Walter Lewthwaite

Wastewater Engineer

Christchurch City Council

Ph 941 8367


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