The Council needs to decide on the long-term future for the Duvauchelle wastewater scheme by the end of October 2021.

The Duvauchelle wastewater network, treatment plant and outfall to Akaroa Harbour were commissioned in 1988.  A new consent for the discharge to the harbour was granted in January 2011.  This consent expires in January 2023 and has specific timeframes for the identification and carrying out  of a long term solution for the future use or disposal of treated wastewater relating to Duvauchelle.

These specific timeframes and tasks include:

  • A list of options for the Duvauchelle wastewater working party to consider by 31 October 2016 - this has been completed.
  • A preferred option identified by the working party by 31 October 2018 - this has been completed.
  • As an optimisation of the land application solution, the investigation is currently continuing to make the land application options more consentable and affordable.
  • A programme for implementation of works to consent, construct and operate an approved option before the consent expires in 2023 needs to be submitted to Environment Canterbury by the end of October 2021.

The Duvauchelle wastewater working party was established in 2011 through advertising in the local paper to ask for people who were interested in joining, through nominations from the Akaroa Harbour Issues Group and approaches to local individuals. The first meeting was held on 30 July 2011.  It has met a total of 13 times over this period, and membership has changed as possible long term solutions have evolved.

This group has worked hard to understand the issues around wastewater management and the issues relating to the Duvauchelle project.  In particular it has put a lot of time and effort into coming to the view that irrigation to land is a viable use of the water resource.

Many options have been considered including harbour and ocean discharge, reuse via land application (irrigation) on various sites, deep well injection with a smaller storage pond and even including piping or pumping into the city.  In the end the options favoured by the working party came down to those that are feasible, efficient, effective and appropriately address all affects of the activity and which achieve the purpose of the Resource Management Act (RMA).

The RMA and the New Zealand Coastal Policy Statement require that there be adequate consideration of land application of treated wastewater before any discharge to water (such as via an harbour outfall pipeline) can be consented.  Discharge to water is unlikely to be granted a resource consent if land application is a reasonably viable solution. The Council and the Working Party has therefore considered land application in detail.

Public consultation on the options being considered will be undertaken shortly.

Further information

Please refer to the following documents for further information: