Council achieves landmark 20-year resource consent for wastewater treatment plant
Hamilton City Council has been granted a landmark 20-year resource consent for the management and discharge of wastewater at the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Pukete.
Hamilton’s wastewater scheme is a critical part of city infrastructure that contributes significantly to the health, safety and well-being of the community. Its requirement to deliver continuous high-level service in the long term is central to sustainable city growth.
Council’s wastewater treatment consent application was prepared in close consultation with the community, tangata whenua and the Public Health Department as well as upstream river users such as Fonterra, Affco, Watercare and Fish and Game. The application identified conditions that deliver a high level of public health and environmental protection and the best practical solution for Hamilton’s future wastewater management in keeping with sustainable management principles.
Water & Wastewater Plants manager Tim Harty says that Council instigated a continuous improvement approach to the consent process from the outset.
“The assessment of effects concludes a high degree of confidence that the treated wastewater discharge into the Waikato River does not present a significant risk to human health or the environment. As a result it is anticipated that the treated wastewater discharge in the year 2045 will have less effect on the water quality and ecology of the Waikato River than the existing treated wastewater discharge consent allows.”
The resource consent application was approved in its entirety with the sole issue relating to the timeframe of the consent. Council requested a 35-year consent, while a submission from Waikato-Tainui called for a 10-year term. The hearings committee delivered a 20-year consent decision.
The decision has been subject to an appeal period, which closed yesterday. No appeal was made against the resource consent decision.