Tanks, not costly sewerage, says resident

Tokoiti residents are unconvinced the township needs a sewerage scheme. They will meet this week to discuss making submissions along those lines to the Clutha District Council.

About 40 people attended a public meeting last week to discuss the options and cost of a sewerage scheme. Council chief executive Charles Hakkaart said the two-hour meeting gave residents a chance to air their views and they were asked to make submissions to the council's annual plan.

Tokoiti homes have septic tanks.

Mr Hakkaart said there had been concern for a long time about the failure of some septic tanks. A survey had revealed seven septic tanks had failed and a further five were "suspected of failing".

This had been a problem for a while and was a health and environmental risk needing to be tackled, he said.

Residents have said the estimated costs are unaffordable. The option favoured by the council would install sewage reticulation and discharge it into the Milton sewage treatment plant. It would cost each household $1900, plus $274 a year.

Mr Hakkaart said when government subsidies were available for such schemes, the ones proposed for Tokoiti and Benhar did not meet the criteria.

Tokoiti resident Lynn Smart said all five of the sewerage scheme options outlined by the council were "unaffordable" for Tokoiti residents.

"The council seems hellbent on bringing in a scheme but we think there's cheaper options."

Residents thought a sewerage scheme was unnecessary and believed fixing the tanks was a better and cheaper alternative.

A meeting would be held next week to discuss making a submission to the council's annual plan, she said.

"We also felt let down by the council not following through with a funding application for a subsidy when one was available - people are angry about that. Now it's going to cost us an exorbitant amount."

Mr Hakkaart acknowledged there was criticism the council had been slow to act.

"This sewerage problem has been an issue for about 10 years, but we've had a number of meetings and have been working with the community to look at various options." Benhar was in a similar position to Tokoiti, and a sewerage scheme proposed for Benhar would connect into the Balclutha system.


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