Call for consultation on stormwater swales

Wanaka water quality advocates want the public to get up to speed with the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s non-notified proposal to create stormwater swales on the Wanaka Showgrounds Reserve.

The proposal outlines QLDC’s intention to divert stormwater overflows from the Alpha Series run-off pond away from protected Bullock Creek, through a series of swales on a paper road through the Wanaka showgrounds on to Middle Creek with eventual discharge into Roys Bay in Lake Wanaka.

Repeated discharges during heavy rainfalls have infuriated Otago Fish & Game staff, Friends of Bullock Creek members and many others who allege Bullock Creek is being treated as a "drain".

Friends of Bullock Creek president Nancy Latham said the stormwater issue was important to the entire community and needed public consultation, while Touchstone director Chris Arbuckle was concerned about swale design, risks to aquatic life and sediment discharges in Roys Bay.

Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce yesterday confirmed the QLDC would present the board with full details in a closed workshop on July 26.

Submissions to the community board in the public forum on August 4 were welcome but the board did not have decision-making power and standing rules needed to be followed, Mr Bruce said.

The QLDC applied to itself in mid-June for resource consent to build the stormwater swales on a paper road through the showgrounds.

It has also applied for a suite of Otago Regional Council (ORC) consents.

QLDC communications spokesman Sam White clarified in June the council did not propose building wetlands on the showgrounds.

"Rather than creating a wetland, the project would involve a planted treatment train, which is a series of swales through which stormwater will flow," he said.

Mr Bruce understood the stormwater would exit the showgrounds via a culvert under Aspiring Rd, join Middle Creek and discharge into Lake Wanaka at the north end of the swimmer’s buoy line in Roys Bay.

"We need to see the detailed design before we can comment further," Mr Bruce said.

Guardians of Lake Wanaka chairman Don Robertson said yesterday he was still assessing the consent documents and did not know yet if he would speak to the Wanaka Community Board.

The ORC was not able to respond to ODT questions yesterday.



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