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Work modifying the Otematata sewage-treatment plant to meet conditions in a new resource consent should start in September, and then be operating after February next year.
The Waitaki District Council obtained a new resource consent from Environment Canterbury to change the way treated effluent from the plant is disposed of.
Previously, the treated effluent was sprayed on to land by K-line irrigation at the treatment plant, but ponding occurred in winter when the ground was frozen and it could not be absorbed.
That breached its resource consent, so the council applied to dispose of the effluent through perforated pipes in soak trenches dug deep into the existing disposal area.
The new method meant the plant would be more efficient, remove the need for ultraviolet treatment, and effluent would be better disposed of.
To implement the new method, minor plant modifications will start in September, along with collecting data as part of the consent conditions.
The council's water and wastewater assets manager Martin Pacey yesterday said tenders for the work would be called shortly, which would establish the cost of the modifications.
However, the cost was not substantial - in the "tens of thousands" of dollars.