The Queenstown Lakes
District Council has adopted a plan to spread sewage sludge
on land near Luggate despite strong opposition stopping a
similar proposal in the Ardgour Valley, near Tarras, last
The $455,000 "biosolids" project is designed to reduce the
cost of taking sludge to landfill, which costs about $213,000
annually and is forecast to rise by up to $40,000 by 2013.
The land application option, which would have a yearly
monitoring expenditure of $36,460, was carried at yesterday's
meeting of the council infrastructure services committee.
The council has received applications from two farm owners
near Luggate who want to use sludge from Wanaka's Project
Pure wastewater treatment plant on more than 600ha of their
Council solid waste manager Stefan Borowy would not identify
the landowners or locations of the farms pending a directive
from the committee.
Project Pure was discussed in a public excluded session after
the committee meeting.
The council defines sludge as a byproduct of mechanical
sewage treatment composed of about 80% organic content
moisture, which can an contain trace elements and heavy
Other options included in a report tabled to the committee
were outlined although Mr Borowy and strategic project
manager Martin O'Malley had chosen the application as the
Alternative solutions included "ag bag composting", which
would require a covered concrete pad with a leachate
collection and storage system.
The sludge would be mixed with shredded green waste and fed
into a high-density polyethylene bag. After six weeks, the
material would be screened and the fine compost material used
by the Parks and Reserves team in gardens and reserves around