Council's wastewater plan opposed by 190 submissions

Submitters have overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to dump excess wastewater into Queenstown Lakes District waterways.

The Otago Regional Council received 193 submissions on the district council's application to discharge wastewater overflows to lakes, rivers and creeks, or on to land in circumstances where it may enter them, for a 35-year term.

Of the submissions, just two were in support, and one was neutral.

Among those opposing the consent were Federated Farmers, the Department of Conservation, regional councillor Michael Laws, the Central Otago District Council, and Ngai Tahu.

Their concerns mainly centred on the 35-year term, which many thought was too long, and the negative effect on water quality and the environment.

In favour of the application were the Friends of Lake Hayes Society, which supported the ''intent of the consent and conditions imposed, and the pragmatic view'', and Miranda Susan Spray.

Of the submitters, 78 wished to be heard.

District council senior planning engineer Mark Baker previously said the council did have ''robust processes'' to investigate and respond to overflow incidents, but issues were largely driven by blockages in the 421km network of pipes.

Blockages led to a build-up of pressure which could cause wastewater to overflow, typically from manholes or pumping stations.

Wastewater overflow data collected between July 2015 and November 2018 listed 206 events, of which 30 were deemed ''choke only'', or a constriction which did not result in an overflow.

Seventeen overflows reached water.

The council planned to spend $105million on its wastewater network between 2018 and 2028, partly to address pressure being put on the system by growth.

daisy.hudson@odt.co.nz

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