Wastewater plant focus of meeting tomorrow

Michael Laws
Michael Laws
The Lake Hawea wastewater plant will be the venue tomorrow for a meeting between the Otago Regional Council and the Lake Hawea Community Association concerned about the state of the plant.

The meeting follows a letter from the association to the ORC about resource consent breaches at the Queenstown Lakes District Council plant.

The association also noted a comment in the QLDC's annual report on the plant that it was ''not suitable for the current resource consent conditions''.

The QLDC plans to replace the plant with a pipeline to its Project Pure treatment plant next to the Wanaka Airport, and construction is scheduled to begin next year.

Otago regional councillor Michael Laws will be at the meeting tomorrow.

In a press release, he criticised the ORC, saying its ''failure'' to do the ''most basic monitoring and compliance work'' at the Lake Hawea plant ''will send a shudder through all those who are expecting our organisation to uphold environmental standards in the region''.

Asked to comment, acting director, environmental monitoring and operations, Peter Winder, said the plant was audited in September 2017 and ''graded as noncompliant''.

The QLDC was then required to supply missing annual report information, give a written explanation for exceeding the consent limits, and demonstrate steps being taken to rectify the breaches.

Mr Winder said discharges above consent limits were over four days when a valve was not closed properly.

''We understand that an alarm has been installed to hopefully avoid this issue in the future.''

Mr Winder said the ORC was working with the QLDC to ''try and improve the system'' and there had been discussions over how a ''long-term sustainable solution'' could be found.

mark.price@odt.co.nz

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