Fulton Hogan industries manager Peter Reid (left) and
regional manager Alan Peacock (centre, both of Alexandra),
show Luggate Community Association president Geoff Taylor
around the site earmarked for a proposed sludge-drying
facility near Luggate last year. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
The smell of sewage should not be evident beyond the site
of a new sludge-drying plant Fulton Hogan wants to build on the
Clutha River 2km from Luggate.
That is the view of Specialist Environmental Services Ltd
consultant John Iseli.
Mr Iseli's report on contaminant discharges from the plant
accompanies Fulton Hogan's resource consent application to
the Queenstown Lakes District Council, notified last week.
The plant is intended to dry sludge trucked from the Wanaka
wastewater treatment plant, near Wanaka airport.
Mr Iseli said in his report the ''Wendewolf'' solar drying
plant consisted of a glasshouse where ''secondary solids''
matured for about a year.
A mechanical turning-arm would ensure they remained aerated,
to help drying and to minimise odours.
The first Wendewolf plant was built in Germany in 1998 and 80
are operating around the world, three of them in Australia.
Mr Iseli said a plant at Boneo, in Victoria, Australia, of a
similar size to the one proposed for Luggate, produced ''very
little odour'' with no ''significant odour'' beyond the plant
This, he said, had given Fulton Hogan confidence the Luggate
plant could be operated in a way that did not cause adverse
odour effects at neighbouring properties.
''A condition of consent is proposed that would require that
the discharge not cause objectionable or offensive odour
beyond the site boundary.''
Fulton Hogan proposes building the plant on its 46.5ha
Luggate-Tarras Rd rural general site 20m above the Clutha
River, downstream of the Red Bridge.
Mr Iseli said the nearest ''potentially sensitive receptors''
were at least 850m west of the site and winds in that
direction occurred only about 1% of the time.
The greatest potential for odour transmission occurred in
very light winds.
Mr Iseli noted potential adverse off-site effects would be
associated with poor site management.
''Such effects can be controlled by implementing
One of the daily jobs for the plant operator would be to
inspect the boundary ''recording any detected odour and its
The consent application does not cover the disposal of the
dried solids, which has been the prime concern of the Luggate
A council spokeswoman told the Otago Daily Times
yesterday the end product would belong to Fulton Hogan.
The company's industries/quarries and crushing divisional
manager, Pete Reid, of Alexandra, said yesterday that unless
an alternative end use was found and a separate consent was
obtained, the dried sludge would be sent to a landfill, as
the wet sludge was at present.
The owners of two nearby farms, Kim Landreth and Paul Kane,
are listed in the resource consent as being affected persons
who have approved the Fulton Hogan consent application.
Mr Reid said ''no deals'' had been done with the landowners
but they had shown ''an understanding and an interest in the
end product as a soil enhancement mechanism to be integrated
into their farming operations should the necessary consents
and approvals be obtained''.
How the sewage sludge solar drying plant works:
• The Wendewolf plant would consist of a glasshouse 108m
long, 13m wide and 4m high, with a ventilation system
designed to reduce the moisture content of secondary solids
from about 80% to 15%.
• Would process about 1000 tonnes of sewage a year from
Wanaka wastewater treatment plant.
• Average of less than 4 tonnes of secondary solids would be
trucked to the plant each weekday, with peak of 14 tonnes per
• Delivery trucks would deposit solids inside the plant.
• Mechanical agitator would turn the solids, and fans would
''enhance'' air turbulence above the surface of the drying
• Secondary solids would mature over a year and ''mature
fertiliser'' would be removed from opposite end.