Affordable sewerage needed

A sewerage scheme is still being sought for Hampden after more than two years of effort by the Hampden sewerage working party, the Waihemo Community Board and the Waitaki District Council.

However the scheme may be unaffordable for many Hampden residents. Its population of about 300 is small in relation of the size of the town area to be serviced about 1.6 square kilometres. The "deprivation" index is not high enough to include Hampden in the government subsidy scheme reserved for poor communities.

There is an option of joining the Moeraki sewerage scheme.

Approval for a government subsidy under the Sanitary Works Subsidy Scheme are likely to be given only to those communities with a deprivation index in the 8-10 range. Hampden is 6 on the deprivation index, Waitaki District Councillor for the Waihemo ward Kathy Dennison said on Thursday.

Taking into account growth projections for Hampden and other relevant factors, the Waitaki District Council has calculated a "ball park figure" on annual sewerage rates per household for a reticulated scheme, without and with a subsidy: $3,389 without subsidy, $2,067 with a 50% subsidy.

There are fears that some people in Hampden may not be able to afford a reticulated sewerage scheme even with the government subsidy, Mrs Dennison said.

Alternative solutions suggested by the Hampden sewerage working party, included an upgraded septic tank system or possibly a cluster where a number of properties share a sewerage system.

There is an option for Hampden people to join the present Moeraki sewerage scheme. The greater work required means that this option is unlikely to reduce the costs of the sewerage connections to Hampden residents.

A loan scheme could be considered for ratepayers who are required to upgrade their septic tank schemes, Mrs Dennison said. Bulk buying of equipment by the council could ensure competitive pricing.

A report to the Waihemo Community Board meeting at Palmerston on Monday 1 September will ask the Waitaki District Council if the SWSS is restricted to reticulated sewerage schemes or also available for septic tanks and cluster schemes.

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