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Feedback Sought on Lyttelton Wastewater Options

19 February 2008

The Christchurch City Council and the Lyttelton Harbour Wastewater Working Party are seeking feedback on options for the future management of wastewater in Lyttelton Harbour.
Lyttelton Harbour wastewater is currently treated at plants in Lyttelton, Governors Bay and Diamond Harbour, and then discharged into the Harbour.
Council Capital Programme Group Project Manager Matt Cummins says a combination of population growth, the connection of more communities to the wastewater system, and increasing public expectation about environmental standards mean changes are required to how the Harbour’s wastewater is managed in the future.
“After evaluating nine different options for the treatment and disposal of wastewater, the Lyttelton Harbour Wastewater Working Party has identified two preferred options for further investigation,” says Mr Cummins.
The first option involves treating wastewater at one or more of the existing treatment plants and then using it to irrigate designated areas of land. Used in this way  there is potential for the wastewater to offset costs through the harvest and sale of crops such as timber or hay.
The second option identified by the Working Party is to utilise the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant. Under this option untreated wastewater from Lyttelton Harbour communities would be pumped to the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant.  Once treated, the wastewater would then be discharged through the new Ocean Outfall three kilometres out into sea.
“In addition, a combination of the two may also be investigated,” says Mr Cummins.
Community feedback is now sought on whether these options are of interest to harbour communities. More information, including feedback forms, will be sent to Lyttelton Harbour residents this week. Information is also available on the Council’s website. The period for feedback closes on 7 March 2008.
Once detailed investigations have been completed the Christchurch City Council will conduct a formal consultation process later in 2008.  
The Lyttelton Harbour Wastewater Working Party was established in 2005 and includes representatives from the Department of Conservation, Environment Canterbury, Ngai Tahu, Community and Public Health, and local residents with an interest in local environmental and welfare issues.
Under the Council’s funding policy the capital costs for whichever option is finally selected will be borne across all Christchurch ratepayers. 

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