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Wastewater plant consent requires more monitoring

Work to get a new resource consent application for Featherston’s wastewater treatment plant is progressing.

The consent was lodged by Wellington Water – on behalf of South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] – with Greater Wellington Regional Council [GWRC] in May last year.

SWDC had previously applied for a consent to upgrade the operation in 2017, but this proposal was eventually canned due to public opposition to
land-based irrigation of UV-treated wastewater.

GWRC requested further information on Wellington Water’s application in July last year, and a spokesperson for Wellington Water said that there are still some remaining questions being addressed.

The spokesperson confirmed that the information requested from GWRC requires further water quality monitoring to take place this summer.

At the same time as this monitoring, Wellington Water will trial a pilot Dissolved Air Flotation [DAF] unit.

“This water clarification technology is proposed as part of the upgrades to the Featherston Wastewater Treatment Plant,” the spokesperson said.

“A DAF assists with the removal of suspended solids and other chemicals in the wastewater, improving the level of treatment the wastewater receives prior to being discharged to the environment.

“The trial will provide valuable data regarding the effectiveness of this treatment technology for the Featherston Wastewater Treatment Plant conditions.”

Data collected from this trial and water monitoring will allow Wellington Water to refine the technical assessment and assumptions made around wastewater quality, the spokesperson noted.

“It will also improve understanding of the potential environmental effects of the wastewater discharge on Donald’s Creek when a new clarification plant is installed.”

Work fulfilling GWRC’s request for further information is expected to be completed by May.

At that point, the spokesperson said, public notification and community consultation will get underway.

“We thank the community and our mana whenua iwi partners for their important input so far.”

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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