Too expensive for reticulated sewer system

Rod Philip
Rod Philip
A community group set up to investigate possible alternatives to the continued use of ageing septic tanks in Hampden has said it would be too expensive to install a reticulated system of wastewater management.

The Hampden Wastewater Liaison Group was elected in August to work with the Waihemo Community Board and the Waitaki District Council to address the long-standing issue of the town's septic tanks, and Waihemo Community Board chairman Rod Philip said the liaison group had now recommended that the council investigate funding options that would allow residents who needed to upgrade tanks to pay off the cost of that work through increased rates payments.

The introduction of a reticulated system was first mooted as far back as 1996, but Mr Philip said modern on-site systems were working well in locations as small as 1000sq m and evidence presented by council officers confirmed that the lack of a reticulated wastewater scheme was not a barrier to residential or commercial growth.

''The establishment of a reticulated scheme has been investigated in the past, and the group is aware this involves a large upfront cost to build the scheme as well as operating costs. Group members agreed that an expensive scheme simply isn't affordable for the Hampden community and improvements to septic tanks and disposal systems would be difficult for some.

''Investigations to date show there would be no issues for the community if all landowners operated their on-site systems, mostly septic tanks, properly. ''An inspection of selected properties revealed many of the problems identified in the late 1990s have been rectified, but some property owners have problems to fix.''

A public forum will be held on December 17 to hear community views on a preferred solution.