Napier City Council has come up with a great plan.
The idea is to pump the city’s untreated sewage directly into the sea (actually, that’s not the new part of this plan; it’s what Napier already does), by-passing the existing ‘milliscreens’ that are supposed to catch the ‘big stuff’ (that’s the new part).
The ‘big stuff’ consists of sanitary products, medical wastes, cloth (including nappies), plastic material, vegetative matter, string, cigarette stubs, and the occasional wood, sponge, broken glass and metal.
There’s about 1 tonne of this stuff per day.
The good news is that this will only occur for about eight weeks, the first time … that’s 56 tonnes.
Napier’s consent application to do this, carefully calculates that 5-12% of the material will be floatable. But not to worry, it’s estimated that since the outfall is 1.54km offshore, it will “limit the amount of material that would be washed up on adjacent beaches.” And anyway, since the work would be undertaken between October and March, there will be plenty of tourists around to help clean up Marine Parade beaches. A nice project for those Art Deco visitors.
There’s no escape for the boaties though. As the application observes: “The discharge of floatable sewage screenings into Hawke’s Bay may result in some temporary minor visual unpleasantness for fishermen and boat users … complaints from boat users may need to be actively managed by NCC.”
Thankfully, the danger from “potentially harmful items such as syringes with needles attached” was also examined, but the risk adjudged to be extremely low. Whew! That said, “beachgoers should approach suspicious looking debris with caution.”
This plan is preparation for installing Napier’s proposed biological trickling filter sewage treatment plant.
Why is it necessary? According to the consent application, back in 2009 it was noticed that “the screening plant inlet and outlet channels have been extensively corroded by the long-term exposure to hydrogen sulphide gas released from the incoming wastewater. Significant remedial works are required to repair and reseal the concrete to extend the structure life.” I’ll bet this isn’t the only part of Napier’s sewage system with the corrosion problem.
Such is progress in well-managed Napier. Where are all those Marineland protesters when we need them … here’s a real issue.
I mean, how hard can it be to simply pump Napier’s sewage into the sea?! Which is all that’s going on here.
No doubt there are some smirking faces at the rival Hastings Council over this one. At least now they aren’t the only ones with a hydrogen sulphide gas problem.
P.S. I wish I were making this up. Here’s Marty Sharpe’s coverage in the DomPost.