Recycling Akaroa’s wastewater to keep the area green is a possibility.
On Monday, the city council opened up consultation on the future of disposing the community’s wastewater, presenting five different options to choose from.
The options include reusing the treated wastewater to irrigate trees or pasture at Takamātua Valley, Robinsons Bay or Pompeys Pillar, provide non-drinking water for garden watering and toilet flushing in Akaroa or discharging it into the mid-harbour, which was the original application.
The city council has consent to build a new treatment plant, but its application to Environment Canterbury for a new consent to continue discharging treated wastewater into the harbour was turned down at a hearing last year.
The city council was asked to give more consideration to land-based disposal methods that would not require discharging wastewater into the harbour.
Options are being looked at as the consent for the current wastewater treatment plant expires in 2020 and funding for the new scheme was included in the 2016-2017 annual plan.
Head of Three Waters and Waste John Mackie said the current treatment plant, which discharges treated wastewater into Akaroa Harbour, was near the end of its useful life.
Mr Mackie said each of the four new options involved reclaiming and reusing, or recycling, the treated wastewater.
“The water will be treated to a very high standard, removing almost all bacteria and viruses, and could be suitable for a range of uses, including irrigation and garden watering.’’
The options being presented to the community were chosen in pre-consultation meetings with a working party representing members of the Akaroa, Robinsons Bay and Takamātua communities, appointees from Ōnuku Rūnanga and Te Rūnanga O Koukourārata and elected members of the Banks Peninsula Community Board and city council. The group was supported by a team of technical experts and city council staff.
Consultation on the options closes at the end of the month.