MANAWATU District Council has lodged a resource consent with Horizons Regional Council for the discharge of water from its Feilding Wastewater Treatment Plant in conjunction with a major improvement programme at its Kawakawa Road location.
The lodging of the consent application represents a significant step for council. With the capital investment in the facility, the plant will be brought into line with the Proposed One Plan requirements.
Infrastructure Group Manager Hamish Waugh said council had applied for a duel discharge consent which allowed discharge to both land and water.
“The consent process is complementary to significant treatment process improvements currently underway,” he said.
Council has been looking at how it can treat and dispose of domestic and industrial waste since it purchased 90 hectares of land adjoining the plant in 2005.
This could involve discharging into the Oroua River when it was at or above half its median flow and discharging to land outside of that.
Work already completed in phase one of the upgrade project included the installation of an inlet flow meter, new large capacity pumps, flow distribution systems, sludge lagoons and a chemical dosing system.
Mr Waugh said future work would involve influent flow balancing, improvements to the aerated lagoons, clarification system, sludge dewatering and a land-based irrigation treatment system.
He said council had proactively engaged with local iwi in the preparation of the consent application and was working with other stakeholders throughout the process.
“We are also looking to engage submitters on both of the previous consent applications,” he said.
Mr Waugh said with MDC a signatory to the Manawatu River Leaders’ Accord, the application was part of its commitment under the Action Plan to improve water quality in the Manawatu Catchment.
Horizons is to publicly notify the consent application in March and a hearing, if applicable, was likely in about June.
Mr Waugh is working towards having the consent in place by the end of June 2012.