Regional Council CEO Andrew Newman reports that the consenting process is progressing that would shift Central Hawke’s Bay’s (CHB) wastewater discharge onto land and out of the river.
The scheme would see CHB’s treated wastewater pumped onto Regional Council-owned land outside Waipawa. HBRC has acquired land on which it expects to plant trees this winter, starting next month, in anticipation that the consenting process will be uneventful. As the trees grow, the absorption capacity of the scheme will increase over the years.
According to HBRC, sufficient land is included in the scheme to accommodate both wastewater and stormwater discharges. Because stormwater infiltrates the CHB wastewater system, there have been past problems with sewage overflows into the river from settlement ponds. CHB has a separate multi-year workplan to deal with the infiltration issue.
HBRC program staff had a substantial hand with CHB officials in developing the proposal for on-land disposal of the wastewater. Now the Regional Council’s regulatory staff must independently review the final resource consent application, which is expected to be tabled by the CHB District Council next week.
Finally, the application will be heard by an independent commissioner, given that HBRC has been a party to developing the scheme.
Progress. But it ain’t over till the fat lady sings!