Discharge into Waimakariri River ends

Thursday 30 August 2012, 2:27PM
By Christchurch City Council


Silver Fern Farms, Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury are celebrating the end of a successful project to replace a pipe discharging treated wastewater into the Waimakariri River.

Wastewater from Silver Fern Farm’s Belfast meat processing plant now goes to the Christchurch City Council’s treatment plant at Bromley.

The project has been underway since 2009, and Silver Fern Farms have invested in construction work to provide the alternative discharge route. Damage to Christchurch’s infrastructure from the earthquakes extended the timeframe for the Belfast pipe closure until July 30 this year.

Silver Fern Farms Chief Executive Keith Cooper says this change is part of moves to position the plant for the future.

“We have managed the discharge of wastewater to a high level and achieved a good level of compliance with the resource consent. We see this change as an extension of the improvements we are making at Belfast. We have invested several million dollars into making sure our operation at Belfast is future proofed and able to continue to run successfully for many years to come."

Mayor Bob Parker says the Council is pleased this day has finally come, after many years of work with Silver Fern Farms and Environment Canterbury.

“We’re always happy to partner with industry to help bring about a better environment. We don’t expect a significant impact on our wastewater system, as we designed the Belfast pump station to allow for ongoing growth and development in the area and have agreed the meat processing plant will discharge off-peak.”

The move will have a positive impact on the Waimakariri River, says Environment Canterbury Resource Management Director Kim Drummond.

“It will have a significant impact on water quality in the lower Waimakariri as it was the last industrial discharge into the waterway. It will mean fishing and recreation activities will be able to take place at all times except when the river is in flood.’’

An event marking the end of the project is being held at Silver Fern Farm’s Belfast meat processing plant on Thursday 30 August at 12.30pm. Media are invited to attend.