Doubt lingers over when a solution to Cardrona's
wastewater problem will be delivered, as a recent suggestion to
pipe the township's wastewater to Wanaka places further delays
on the release of project costings.
The Otago Regional Council (ORC) recently mentioned the
concept of pumping Cardrona wastewater to the Project Pure
treatment station near the Wanaka Airport, putting another
option into the mix of possibilities, Queenstown Lakes
District Council Wanaka project manager Rob Darby said.
The council had already been consulting the Cardrona
community on a report released in May outlining the most
suitable sites for a community scheme in the township.
"The possibility of a pipeline into town just added another
dimension to the feasibility study," Mr Darby said.
"It sort of came from left field and slowed everything down,
which is good ... what we don't want to do is have to go back
and redo everything again. I can't think of much else that
could possibly be envisaged so I'd like to think this is it."
Mr Darby had earlier hoped cost estimates and feasibility
information on a community scheme would be developed by the
council this month, but the ORC idea meant more work was
"It would have been quite simple to price up what was
envisaged as a community scheme only, within the township ...
but this [pipeline to Wanaka] is much bigger picture."
A contractor was working on costings for all options and once
information was provided to the council, a report for the
community would need to be formulated.
"It's going to take some time to draft it into a format which
everybody can understand and make an informed decision on."
Mr Darby was reluctant to put a date on when to expect
costings, but was hoping for figures before Christmas.
He said piping wastewater to Wanaka's treatment plant
presented some "significant technical hurdles", combined with
considerably different winter and summer flows, which raised
issues over the viability of the pipeline.
Ideally, one or both of the skifields [Cardrona Alpine Resort
and Snow Farm/Snow Park] would need to connect to the
pipeline, "otherwise it couldn't be constructed as
The pipeline would have to be paid for by the council rather
than a developer because of the long-term investment
"If the pipeline is the preferred long-term solution, the
problem for the township is: when is it delivered? Is it in
the next two to three years or in the next 30 years?"
An interim solution, such as a community scheme, could still
be required, he said.