Trade discharge fees loom

Gareth Phillips
Gareth Phillips
Clutha businesses can expect the introduction of charges for trade waste discharge next year, following a change to local bylaws.

Clutha District Council adopted extensive changes to its renamed water services bylaw during a service delivery committee meeting in Balclutha this week.

The updated bylaw is the result of six months' consultation with public and regulatory stakeholders, undertaken to improve the council's "three waters" management, and its resource consent compliance.

Although charges for trade waste discharge would not come into immediate effect, a "sensible and simple" charging policy would be consulted on this year, and be introduced from July 1, 2020, council operations manager Gareth Phillips said.

Key amendments would affect commercial and industrial water users, and could entail changes to the ways businesses handled discharges to the wastewater network, he said.

"People will need to be fully aware of the liquid waste their business produces and whether or not it is permitted, conditional [somewhat restricted] or prohibited.

"Up to this point, Clutha has not had an operational bylaw, and this is the method we will use to ensure commercial dischargers do not damage or disrupt the network."

The year from July 1, 2019 would comprise a "transitional" period for users, during which council staff would work with stakeholders to improve compliance.

This could include site visits, waste stream sampling and providing feedback to dischargers, Mr Phillips said.

A new staff member would be employed to oversee this, and other "water cycle monitoring" tasks.

Some businesses might choose to install or upgrade "pre-treatment" devices to meet new requirements, he said.

Examples included petrol/oil interceptors, sediment traps, grease traps, chemical balance tanks and screening.

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