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Water quality and beach standards submissions now closed

1 April 2004

The Christchurch City Council has received more than 250 written submissions on what water quality and beach standards people expect when the city’s wastewater is piped out to sea.

Submissions closed on Wednesday 31 March.

City Council senior projects engineer John Moore says the next step is a verbal hearings process.
“The City Council’s Sustainable Transport and Utilities Committee (STU) will hear this month from people who indicated in their written submission that they wanted to also make a verbal submission.

The submissions are being heard on 26 and 27 April.

Mr Moore says the written and verbal submissions, along with oceanographic and ecological studies, and cost considerations, will help the Council decide which options to pursue when building the Ocean Outfall, such as how far the pipeline will go out to sea.

The full Council is expected to make a decision later this year.

Mr Moore says the public needs to know that taking the city’s treated wastewater discharge out of the Estuary and piping it out to the ocean will help improve Christchurch beaches.

“Work either completed or under way at the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant and throughout the city’s sewerage system is already producing a high standard of treated wastewater. We are confident that the Estuary environment will be further improved with the Ocean Outfall,” he says.

· Background
 In 2001, the City Council applied for an extension for another 15 years to  continue discharging the city's wastewater into the Estuary, based on upgrades  being carried out to the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant.
 However, following appeals Environment Canterbury granted the City  Council consent only until 2009, which meant it had to come up with another  way. In October 2002 the Council agreed to the preparation of an Assessment  of Environmental Effects for an Ocean Outfall via a pipeline no less than 2 km  long.
 It  is expected that the Ocean Outfall will be completed around 2009-10,  depending on  how long the planning and consents process takes.

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