Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw review

Christchurch City Council is proposing changes to our bylaw on water supply, wastewater and stormwater. We want to hear what you think about these changes.

Project status: Open for feedback
Open for feedback: 29th November 2021 - 9th February 2022

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What does the bylaw do?

In general terms, our bylaws for water supply, wastewater and stormwater are about protecting our public infrastructure.

  • For water supply – the focus is on ensuring the protection of public health
  • For wastewater - the focus is on ensuring the functionality of the network – avoiding things that block pipes or impact on the biological processes of the wastewater treatment plant
  • For stormwater – the focus is on ensuring the functionality of the network – avoiding things that block pipes or waterways, and avoiding contaminants that can impact negatively on the environment

Background and reasons for the proposed new bylaws

The Council’s current bylaw that regulates stormwater matters is the Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw (2014 [PDF, 158 KB]).

Legislation requires the bylaw to be reviewed by 2024, but we have reviewed it sooner to:

  • help meet the Council’s new stormwater obligations under the Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent
  • improve and update the bylaw to ensure it is fit-for-purpose.

Although national changes have been foreshadowed in the Government’s Three Waters Reform Programme, the changes are not yet finalised, and changes may be several years from being implemented.

The proposed changes to the bylaw are recommended, irrespective of the Three Waters Reform Programme, as they will enable the Council to meet new requirements that are already in place and will update the bylaw. The Government's reform is separate, and outside the scope of this bylaw.

New bylaw structure

The proposed approach is to split the current bylaw into two separate new bylaws – one for water supply and wastewater, and the other for stormwater and land drainage.
This is because:

  • the stormwater network is very different to the drinking water and wastewater networks. Water supply and wastewater are closed, piped networks; while the stormwater network is an open system made up of a mix of pipes, drains, overland flow paths and is integrated with roads, natural waterways, and parks
  • there are a number of significant changes required under the CSNDC for stormwater
  • it is helpful for administrative reasons because the current bylaw is our largest and one of the more technically complex bylaws

Statement of Proposal

Read the full draft Water Supply and Wastewater Bylaw 2022 [PDF, 2.9 MB]

The key changes relate to improvements to protect the water supply from contamination, and to protect the wastewater network from damage, infiltration and misuse.

Background and reasons for the proposed new bylaw

The Council has bylaws for water supply, wastewater and stormwater, in order to protect its infrastructure from damage or misuse, and to protect public health and safety. It regulates some activities and behaviours to reduce the potential for contamination of drinking water or damage to the networks that carry drinking water and wastewater.

The bylaw is a local law, specific to Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, which controls matters that are not covered by other laws. It cannot control things that are the responsibility of government departments, the drinking water regulator (Taumata Arowai), or Environment Canterbury. This means that issues of mandatory chlorination or fluoridation of drinking water supplies, resource consents for water takes (e.g. for water bottling); and wider reform of the three waters sector are outside the scope of this bylaw.

Current bylaw coverage

Broadly, the current bylaw [PDF, 158 KB] aims to:

  • protect the water supply from contamination
  • protect the wastewater and stormwater networks from things that should not be put into them
  • protect the land and infrastructure associated with the networks from damage or misuse – including unauthorised access, connections or discharges
  • encourage the efficient use of water, including promoting resilience

New bylaw structure

As a result of the review, the Council is proposing to split the current bylaw into two separate new bylaws – one for water supply and wastewater, and the other for stormwater and land drainage.

This is because:

  • the stormwater network is very different to the drinking water and wastewater networks. Water supply and wastewater are closed, piped networks; while the stormwater network is an open system made up of a mix of pipes, drains, overland flow paths and is integrated with roads, natural waterways, and parks
  • there are a number of significant changes required for stormwater, linked to the CSNDC
  • it is helpful for administrative reasons because the current bylaw is our largest and one of the more technically complex bylaws.

This information is in respect to the proposed replacement bylaw for water supply and wastewater.

Key proposed changes

Overall, the bylaw is achieving its purpose and regulating the right things. However, there are some emerging issues that need to be addressed in the new bylaw.

The key changes being proposed relate to improvements to protect the water supply network from contamination and to protect the wastewater network from damage,
infiltration and misuse. These changes are summarised in the following table.

Summary of key changes proposed by the Draft Water Supply and Wastewater Bylaw 2022

Issue 1 Inadequate backflow prevention measures presenting a risk of contamination of the public water supply network from backflow.
Proposed Solution New requirements in relation to backflow risks at a property:
  • provide information about activity if requested
  • notify the Council of change in activity
Reason This helps to ensure the appropriate level of backflow protection is installed at a property, based on their water use and activity
Draft bylaw clause: 18

 

Issue 2 Certain equipment installed on the privately owned parts of the supply network can cause pressure surges in the public network, and as a result, contaminate the water supply or cause damage to the public network
Proposed Solution Prohibition of the use of equipment that may cause pressure surges to the water supply network
Reason This helps to reduce the risk of contamination of drinking water supplies, and damage to the public water supply network
Draft bylaw clause: 9(4)
Issue 3 Potential contamination of source water from aerial spraying of chemicals for agricultural or firefighting purposes
Proposed Solution A new requirement to notify the Council of aerial applications of fertiliser, pesticides and other chemicals in or near community drinking water protection zones prior to their application
Reason This helps to protect the quality of drinking water. If we are aware of these activities before they occur, we can mitigate the risk of contamination to drinking water (e.g. stop taking water for a period)
Draft bylaw clause: 9(6)
Issue 4 Potential contamination of source water due to chemical spills
Proposed Solution A new requirement to immediately notify the Council of any chemical spills in or near community drinking water protection zones
Reason This helps to protect the quality of drinking water. If we are aware of spills, we can mitigate the risk of any contamination
Draft bylaw clause: 9(5)
Issue 5 The practical issues of cost and site space required to implement the mandatory requirement for rainwater storage tanks in restricted-supply areas of Banks Peninsula. There are multiple requirements for various water storage tanks under a range of regulatory tools
Proposed Solution A change to the existing bylaw requirement for supplementary water storage tanks in Banks Peninsula to allow one rainwater storage tank to meet multiple separate regulatory requirements (e.g. one tank for both non-potable use and for stormwater detention purposes.)
Reason This provides a solution to the practical issues identified.
Draft bylaw clause: 17
Issue 6 Unnecessary demand on the water supply network due to unrepaired leaks or excessive water use
Proposed Solution Additional of a clause making water waste a bylaw offence
Reason This strengthens the existing 2014 bylaw provisions for promoting the efficient use of water and protecting against waste. Although it is an offence under the Local Government Act 2002 to waste water, the addition of this as a bylaw offence provides greater clarity on what is considered “wastage”
Draft bylaw clause: 16(3)
Issue 7 Water meters that are inaccessible for reading or maintenance
Proposed Solution

New additions to protect the accessibility of meters include:

  • requiring Council-owned meters to be installed on Council land (unless approved otherwise)
  • the authority for the Council to relocate a meter and recover costs from the property owner if the meter
    has become difficult to access due to changes made by the property owner.
Reason We need to be able to access and read water meters to monitor water consumption, detect leaks, and for any volumetric charging. Meters that are difficult to access prevent these functions from being carried out
Draft bylaw clauses: 19(4) and 19(5)
Issue 8 Insufficient access to any part of the water supply or wastewater networks for maintenance purposes, particularly where the infrastructure is within non-Council land, and where an adequate easement does not exist
Proposed Solution Improved provisions, including:
  • the area required to access infrastructure, known as the “maintenance access corridor”, reflects actual requirements to ensure safe access to the asset
  • some activities are restricted within the maintenance access corridor – no person may build or install any structure, lay any utility service or private pipe, or undertake site works over or within the maintenance access corridor without approval from the Council
  • applications for restricted activities within a maintenance access corridor will be considered by Council on a case-by-case basis
  • existing easements (where adequate) and approvals previously granted are exempt from the updated setback distances.
Reason Maintenance requirements may be urgent in nature. This change makes sure we can access our pipes and other infrastructure if and when we need to, and in a way that meets all safety requirements. (e.g. to meet sloping and shoring requirements)
Draft bylaw clause: 7-8 and 29-30
Issue 9 Damage to underground public water supply or wastewater pipes caused by tree roots
Proposed Solution New provisions to prohibit the planting of trees in locations that are likely to cause nuisance or damage to underground infrastructure.
Where a tree is found to be restricting access or causing damage to the water supply network, the proposed replacement bylaw enables the Council to either:
  • require the property owner to remove the tree or trim the roots of any tree; or
  • undertake trimming or removal works and recover the costs from the property owner.
Reason This helps to:
  • reduce the risk of damage to the public water supply and wastewater networks (and associated costs to repair)
  • reduce the risk of contamination or infiltration
  • provide a process for addressing issues with trees and tree roots in relation to the water supply network, which is not covered by existing legislation, unlike wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.
Draft bylaw clause: 9(7), 9(8), and 33
Issue 10 Prohibited materials entering the wastewater network, causing blockages, damage, reduced capacity and increased cost
Proposed Solution Strengthened provisions around what is not permitted to be disposed of into the wastewater network, including defining what is considered “prohibited waste”
Reason This amendment is intended to reduce costs and help protect the Council’s infrastructure from common sources of damage, blockages and reduced capacity
Draft bylaw clause: 31
Issue 11 Damaged or broken private wastewater drains causing excessive infiltration and problems in the public wastewater network (e.g. capacity issues, blockages, damage to the network or its machinery)
Proposed Solution New requirements for:
  • private wastewater drains to be maintained in a state which is free from cracks and other defects
  • the property owner to investigate and rectify any issues where private laterals are not in a satisfactory operating state.
Reason This helps to prevent damage and unnecessary capacity issues in the public wastewater network
  Draft bylaw clause: 32
Issue 12 A lack of application requirements and approval conditions for connections to the wastewater network, including reasons for connection refusal (e.g. if the network is already at capacity)
Proposed Solution A new clause setting out the application and approval requirements for connection to the
wastewater network
Reason Although the requirement for written authority for wastewater connections is implied in legislation, a requirement in the bylaw is recommended for clarity and consistency
Draft bylaw clause: 27

Other proposed changes

In addition to the key changes summarised in the previous table, the following are proposed:

  • Outdated references to standards, or legislation have been updated
  • Wording changes that do not alter the intent of the bylaw have been made to improve clarity and, in some cases, enforceability
  • Definitions have been updated for improved clarity and consistency. New definitions have been added to assist understanding or support enforcement, while terms that are no longer relevant to the bylaw have been removed.
  • Bylaw clauses that duplicate legislative requirements and are not required have been removed (e.g. delegation, backflow prevention requirements, obligation to provide adequate supply of water).

Legal considerations

When the Council reviews a bylaw or makes a replacement bylaw, it must complete an assessment under section 155 of the Local Government Act 2002. This section requires the Council to determine whether the bylaw is the most appropriate way of addressing problems; whether the bylaw is the most appropriate form of bylaw; and whether it gives rise to any implications under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

The Local Government Act 2002 enables the Council to develop a bylaw to:

  • manage, regulate against, or protect from damage, misuse or loss, or prevent the use of infrastructure associated with water supply and wastewater drainage; and
  • protect the public from nuisance, promote and maintain public health and safety, and minimise the potential for offensive behaviour in public places.

The Council is satisfied the proposed replacement bylaw is the most appropriate way to address the actual and perceived problems associated with the management and protection of the Council’s water supply and wastewater infrastructure, as set out in the Summary of key changes to the Draft Water Supply and Wastewater Bylaw 2021.

The Council is also satisfied that the proposed Water Supply and Wastewater Bylaw 2021 does not present any issues or inconsistencies with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

The Bylaw Review Report and Section 155 Analysis(external link) contains a full explanation of these considerations, including an analysis of the actual and perceived problems, and the proposed changes to the bylaw.

Statement of Proposal

Read the full draft Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw 2022 [PDF, 3.2 MB]

The stormwater network and why it's important

The public stormwater network collects and carries rainwater that runs off outdoor surfaces, such as roofs, buildings, driveways and roads. This runoff travels via overland flow paths, roadside gutters, drains and pipes, and is carried (mostly untreated) to waterways, rivers, lakes and the sea.

The Council manages the infrastructure and network to carry our stormwater and prevent flooding. Environment Canterbury requires the Council to reduce the contaminants in stormwater, and does this through a resource consent known as the Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent (CSNDC). This is the Council’s consent from Environment Canterbury to discharge stormwater from the public stormwater network to land and water. The CSNDC places responsibilities on the Council as the consent holder to reduce contaminants in stormwater discharges, in order to protect and improve the health and water quality of local streams and rivers, as well as to protect groundwater resources.

The Council has a bylaw for stormwater to protect our infrastructure from damage or misuse, to protect the public from nuisance, and to protect public health and safety. It is a local law, specific to Christchurch and Banks Peninsula, which controls matters that are not covered by other laws. It regulates some activities and behaviours to reduce the potential for contamination of stormwater or
damage to the network that carries stormwater.

The Council’s current bylaw that regulates stormwater matters is the Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw (2014).

New bylaw structure

The proposed approach is to split the current bylaw [PDF, 158 KB] into two separate new bylaws – one for water supply and wastewater, and the other for stormwater and land drainage.

This is because:

  • the stormwater network is very different to the drinking water and wastewater networks. Water supply and wastewater are closed, piped networks; while the stormwater network is an open system made up of a mix of pipes, drains, overland flow paths and is integrated with roads, natural waterways, and parks
  • there are a number of significant changes required under the CSNDC for stormwater
  • it is helpful for administrative reasons, because the current bylaw is our largest and one of the more technically complex bylaws

This information is in respect to the proposed replacement bylaw for stormwater and land drainage.

Key proposed changes

Broadly, the draft bylaw aims to:

  • protect the stormwater network from contamination
  • protect the land and infrastructure associated with the network from damage or misuse, including unauthorised access, connections or discharges
  • manage the risk of flooding and protect land drainage infrastructure.

Overall, the current bylaw is regulating the right things. However, the CSNDC has placed increased responsibilities on the Council to reduce contaminants and improve the quality of stormwater discharged from the network. The new draft bylaw can help the Council to achieve some of these obligations.

Urban stormwater is now recognised as a major source of contamination and degradation of waterways. Contaminants entering stormwater not only have negative impacts for the environment, but can also cause damage or reduced functionality of the network.

The new draft bylaw introduces a number of key changes to better manage stormwater inflows to prevent or reduce the level of contaminants entering the network. These changes are summarised in the following table

Summary of key changes proposed by the Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw 2022

Issue 1 Contamination of stormwater from industrial activities
Proposed Solution New requirement for all industrial premises (where business activity has the potential to contaminate stormwater, as defined by the Register of Industrial and Trade Activities) to obtain an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence.
Licensees will pay an annual risk-based fee and be subject to monitoring and audits.
Reason There is a requirement for greater control and monitoring of industrial sites under the CSNDC.
The Council needs to undertake this monitoring and fund it appropriately and fairly.
The overall aim is to improve the quality of discharges from industrial premises to reduce contamination of stormwater before it is discharged into the stormwater network and then into the environment.
Draft bylaw clause: 27-35
Issue 2 Sediment entering stormwater as a result of poor management of erosion and from earthworks and site works
Proposed Solution Requirement for an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan for earthworks where this is not otherwise required through a building or resource consent. The plan must be prepared by a suitably qualified person and made available to the Council on request.
Requirement for control measures to be put in place before works begin, maintained throughout, and
removed when the land has been stabilised.
The bylaw provisions are part of a new, wider system for the better management of erosion and sediment from development sites.
Reason To reduce sediment-laden water entering the stormwater network, and to meet the requirements of the CSNDC
Draft bylaw clause: 22-23
Issue 3 Contaminants entering the stormwater network causing damage or reduced functionality of the network, and negative  impacts on the environment (e.g. waterways)
Proposed Solution

A number of new or improved bylaw provisions to prevent contaminants entering the network, including

  • improved clarity around potential stormwater quality standards that may be made by resolution of the Council (i.e. what they might include and how they might apply)
  • strengthened provisions around what is not permitted to be disposed of into the stormwater network, including defining “prohibited substances”
  • a new requirement to notify the Council of any spills or discharges of prohibited substances, which may ultimately end up in the stormwater network and be discharged to land or water.
  • a new requirement for property owners where private stormwater devices (e.g. sediment traps) have been required, to maintain the device in good operating condition and to make records available to the Council on request (e.g. for operation or maintenance).
Reason

Reducing contaminants in stormwater discharges reduces the risk of damage and degradation of the stormwater network.
Where private stormwater devices have been required and are not performing as intended, it may damage and degrade the stormwater network.
The changes help to:

  • improve awareness and increase individual responsibility of appropriate use of the stormwater network
  • generally support the Council to meet its obligations under the CSNDC.
Draft bylaw clause: 9, 19 and 26
Issue 4 Inadequately managed drainage from artesian springs and wells
Proposed Solution New clause prohibiting the flow or discharge of water from an artesian spring or well on a private property from entering a neighbouring property, and clarifying it is the responsibility of the property owner (with the spring or well) to remedy the drainage issue
Reason To prevent nuisance and damage to neighbouring properties from unmanaged flows from artesian springs and wells and insufficient land drainage
Draft bylaw clause: 11
Issue 5 Setbacks for activities near waterways
Proposed Solution Increase the setback distance from waterways for certain activities, such as building structures or undertaking earthworks, from one metre to three metres
Reason The purpose of the bylaw setback is to protect waterways from misuse or damage (e.g. bank instability), to ensure efficient function, and to maintain adequate space for access in order to clean and maintain the waterway. The existing one metre was not sufficient for these purposes. In addition, a distance of three metres aligns with powers the Council may use under law to remove obstructions in waterways
Draft bylaw clause: 15(1)
Issue 6 Restricted or inadequate access to stormwater network infrastructure for maintenance purposes, particularly where the infrastructure is within non-Council land, and where an adequate easement does not exist
Proposed Solution A new clause to require Council approval for activities and uses that could restrict access to public infrastructure that is within non-Council land (e.g. building or placing structures within the area required to access any underground part of the stormwater network)
Reason Maintenance requirements may be urgent in nature. This change makes sure we can access our
underground pipes if and when we need to, and in a way that meets all safety requirements to ensure a well-functioning network
Draft bylaw clause: 17
Issue 7 Damaged or broken private stormwater laterals (e.g. as a result of unrepaired earthquake damage) which can cause inefficient drainage, contaminated stormwater discharges and public health issues
Proposed Solution New requirements for:
  • private stormwater pipes to be maintained in a state which is free from cracks and other defects
  • the property owner to investigate and rectify any issues where private pipes are not in a satisfactory operating state.
Reason This helps to prevent contamination of stormwater, and ensures effective drainage, minimising the risk of flooding or public health issues associated with inadequately managed stormwater runoff
Draft bylaw clause: 25

Other proposed changes

In addition to the key changes summarised in the previous table, the following are proposed:

  • Wording changes that maintain the intent of the bylaw have been made to improve clarity and, in some cases, enforceability
  • An example of this is the increased focus on protection of stopbanks and flood protection infrastructure. The Council has made significant investment in this area in recent years, and it is important that this infrastructure is clearly protected by the bylaw so that it functions as intended to prevent flooding in times of heavy rain
  • Outdated references to standards or legislation have been updated
  • Definitions have been updated for improved clarity and consistency. New definitions have been added to assist understanding or support enforcement, while terms that are no longer relevant to the bylaw have been removed
  • Bylaw clauses that duplicate legislative requirements, or are better suited to management in other ways (e.g. terms and conditions of service connection and use), are
    not required and have been removed

Legal considerations

When the Council reviews a bylaw, or makes a replacement bylaw, it must complete an assessment under section 155 of the Local Government Act 2002. This section requires the Council to determine whether the bylaw is the most appropriate way of addressing problems; whether the bylaw is the most appropriate form of bylaw; and whether it gives rise to any implications under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

The Local Government Act 2002 enables the Council to develop a bylaw to:

  • manage, regulate against or protect from damage, misuse or loss, or prevent the use of infrastructure associated with land drainage
  • protect the public from nuisance, promote and maintain public health and safety, and minimise the potential for offensive behaviour in public places

The Council is satisfied the proposed replacement bylaw is the most appropriate way to address the actual and perceived problems associated with the management and protection of the Council’s stormwater infrastructure, as set out in the Summary of key changes proposed by the Draft Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw 2022.

The Council is also satisfied that the proposed Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw 2022 does not present any issues or inconsistencies with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990.

The Bylaw Review Report and Section 155 Analysis(external link) contains a full explanation of these considerations, including an analysis of the actual and perceived problems, and the proposed changes to the bylaw.

Key points on how the Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence system will work

Why do industrial premises need licences for their stormwater?

Improving the quality of our waterways is a priority for the Council and our communities. It is also a requirement of the Council’s resource consent from Environment Canterbury to discharge stormwater to the environment (The Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent, or CSNDC).

Untreated industrial stormwater discharges are one of the key contributors to poor water quality in urban waterways. There is an increased risk of stormwater contamination from activities and practices carried out at industrial sites. We recognise this is not the only contributing factor,[1] but to help address this particular source of contamination, the introduction of an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence (ISDL) is proposed. The purpose of the ISDL system is to support improvements in stormwater quality discharged from industrial sites. The system is set up to monitor and mitigate that risk, working closely with industries to achieve outcomes in line with the Council’s obligations under the CSNDC.

[1] Other contributing factors include sediment-laden water from construction sites or washed down from the Port Hills, vehicle contaminants, earthquake-derived sediment, wastewater overflows, and household building products and everyday stormwater runoff that collects metals, chemicals or bacteria (e.g: copper from brake pads, zinc from tyres or household roofs, chemicals from house or vehicle washing, bacteria from animal poo)

Which businesses need to obtain a licence?

Some industrial premises will need to obtain an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence (ISDL) under the new bylaw. The need to hold an ISDL is based on the type of activity that is undertaken at the industrial premises.

Industrial and trade activities identified as requiring an ISDL are set out in the Register of Industrial and Trade Activities, which is attached to the draft Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw. It includes things like chemical industries; metal manufacturing, processing or finishing; tyre or rubber manufacturing; petroleum and coal product industries; waste management and resource recovery (including vehicle dismantling); and landscaping suppliers. See the full list [PDF, 143 KB].

Businesses undertaking activities not on that list, or undertaking activities which are on the list, but at a smaller scale than indicated in the Register, do not need to apply for an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence unless directly asked to by the Council.

We are working to identify businesses most likely to be affected by this change from known contacts (e.g. trade waste customers, industry bodies, Environment Canterbury contacts) and will directly get in touch with identified businesses as part of the consultation process. We would also like businesses to get in touch with us through the consultation process.

What if my business has an individual resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury?

Most premises that currently have individual resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury will transition to management under the Council by 1 January 2025, or at the expiry of their current resource consent. These premises will need to apply for an ISDL within six months of the latter of either of these dates.

Any industrial premises which have their own resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury and has been expressly excluded from the CSNDC, will not transition to Council regulation and does not need to apply for an ISDL. The risks related to these premises will continue to be managed by Environment Canterbury, under their individual resource consent.

Why are some aspects of stormwater discharge managed by Environment Canterbury, and some by the Christchurch City Council?

Environment Canterbury, as a regional council, has responsibilities under the Resource Management Act 1991 in relation to how land and water are managed in the Canterbury region. Environment Canterbury’s Land and Water Regional Plan sets this out, including what people can and cannot do, and when resource consent is needed.

The Christchurch City Council, as a district council, manages stormwater for the district through a public stormwater network, and so has to hold a resource consent from Environment Canterbury to discharge stormwater from the public stormwater network to the environment. The Council recently consolidated a number of older consents into one new resource consent (the Comprehensive Stormwater Network Discharge Consent, or CSNDC).

The CSNDC places new obligations on the Council to improve the quality of stormwater being discharged from the public network to the environment, and reducing contaminants from industrial sites is one area where improvements are required.  This is why a new system is being brought in by the Council, in the draft Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw.  The new system is designed to support improvements in the quality of stormwater being discharged from industrial sites via the public network, to the environment.

Why is there a risk classification system?

The higher the risk for stormwater contamination at a site (based on type of industrial activity and practices carried out on-site), the more monitoring and staff time is required to protect the stormwater network and comply with the Council’s resource consent to discharge stormwater. The risk classification determines how often a business is audited, and the risk-based fee structure reflects the increased resource requirements for higher-risk premises.

Contamination risks to stormwater can be reduced through management practices, treatment devices, and other onsite improvements. The risk-based fee structure also helps to encourage voluntary mitigation to reduce contamination risk. This has benefits for both the stormwater network and the natural environment, as well as the individual business, in terms of a cost reduction in annual licence fees.

The Council needs to be able to identify the industrial premises in the district which present the highest risk for stormwater contamination in order to comply with its resource consent to discharge stormwater.

How long do I have to comply?

Timeframes for compliance are set out in the Register of Industrial and Trade Activities [PDF, 143 KB].

The Council is focussing on the highest-risk industries first. Some must comply within six months of the bylaw coming into force, while others have up to 12 months to comply. The aim is to have all industrial premises compliant within 12 months of the bylaw coming into force.

If adopted by the Council in line with the anticipated timeframes, the bylaw will come into force on 1 July 2022. This means compliance would be required by either 1 December 2022 or 1 July 2023, depending on the type of business.

Some businesses may get direct notification requesting that an ISDL is obtained – in these cases, the compliance timeframe will be set in that letter of notification.

Industrial premises that hold an individual resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury may have a longer timeframe to comply – please see “What if my business has an individual resource consent to discharge stormwater issued by Environment Canterbury?” (above)

What are the costs for my business?

The bylaw sets the ability for the Council to charge fees related to the Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence, but it does not set the actual amount to be charged.

All fees are proposed, consulted on, and set through the Council’s Annual Plan (or Long Term Plan) process each year. The exact fees will be confirmed and consulted on in the Draft Annual Plan in March 2022. If adopted by the Council following that consultation, fees will be in place from 1 July 2022.

The first annual licence fee will be payable upon confirmation of licence approval.

Indicative annual licence fees are:

  • Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence fee (annual), high-risk site: $3,358
  • Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence fee (annual), medium risk site: $335

There is no charge for industrial premises assessed as low risk.

Other additional fees that may be charged (and will be confirmed and consulted on in the Draft Annual Plan in March 2022), include:

  • Additional monitoring fee
  • ISDL risk classification reassessment fee
  • ISDL licence review fee.

What does the annual Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence fee pay for?

The annual licence fees cover:

  • additional staff resource to manage licence approvals;
  • monitoring of stormwater discharges; and
  • costs associated with standard audit processes.

Any additional audit costs over and above what is accounted for in the licence fee can be recovered as additional monitoring fees.

What happens if I don’t comply?

If the Council is aware of a business that should hold an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence, but does not, the Council will write to the occupier, advising them of their obligation to seek a licence under the bylaw.

Where no action is taken, the Council may classify the business as a High Risk Industrial Site, and charge the corresponding annual licence fee.  The business will then enter the Industrial Stormwater Audit Programme and will have to cooperate with any audit requirements.

Any breach of the bylaw (including not holding a licence when required to), could lead to prosecution. A person convicted of a breach of a bylaw made under the Local Government Act 2002 may be liable for a fine of up to $20,000. 

What else is the Council doing to reduce or prevent contamination in stormwater?

Achieving improved water quality in our waterways requires a range of different approaches, from onsite stormwater treatment, to behaviour change and education to empower communities to help stop contaminants getting into stormwater.

The bylaw is just one way in which the Council can contribute to this goal of reducing contaminants. The Council’s proposed new bylaw has a number of changes to help reduce or prevent contamination in stormwater:

  • improved requirements for erosion and sediment control in relation to earthworks at development sites, to reduce sediment-laden water entering the stormwater network (which includes waterways)
  • strengthened provisions around what is not permitted to be disposed of to the stormwater network
  • a new requirement to notify the Council of any spills or discharges of prohibited substances that may end up in the stormwater network
  • a new requirement for property owners to maintain private stormwater devices and private laterals in good operating condition so that they can perform as intended and not contribute to stormwater contamination.

Other than the bylaw, the Council is undertaking, or is involved with, the following activities to prevent contamination in the stormwater network:

  • Stormwater management plans and stormwater implementation plans for each catchment, to reduce contaminants at the source, including implementing new and improved stormwater treatment facilities to remove stormwater contaminants
  • Erosion and sediment monitoring of building sites through the building consent and inspection processes has been increased. Monitoring of earthworks covered by resource consents is also managed.
  • The Community Waterways Partnership initiative - a collaborative partnership that supports the development of community-based initiatives to improve the ecological health, indigenous biodiversity and amenity value of our urban waterways.
  • Education – increasing individual and community knowledge of the issues, promoting behaviour change, and empowering people to take action to help reduce the likelihood of contaminants entering stormwater e.g: the ‘blue fish - drains are for rain’ campaign.
  • Planting - along waterways to absorb contaminants in stormwater runoff before they reach the waterways; and planting of erosion-prone gullies on the Port Hills to reduce sediment entering waterways
  • Stream restoration projects
  • Working collaboratively with Canterbury Regional Council
  • Ongoing advocacy –g: seeking national legislative change requiring low or no copper in brake pads
  • Christchurch West Melton Zone Implementation Plan – which identifies pathways to improve stormwater quality in the urban catchment.

Come and talk to us

Bookings essential  - click here to book(external link)

Christchurch City Council Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street, Tuesday 1 February 2022, 10am to 12pm, with a presentation from 10:05am.

Our information session is going ahead as normal under the Red traffic light alert level, but a vaccine pass is required to attend in person. Please sign/scan in and wear a mask.

If you are unable to attend you can also phone or email any time to speak with us directly about the project.

Next steps

After the consultation closes, a hearings panel will consider all written submissions, and any submitters wishing to be heard will have the opportunity to speak to the panel about their submission.

Following hearings, the panel will then deliberate and make decisions on the final bylaws to recommend to the Council for adoption. It is anticipated the Council will make a decision on the final bylaws around May 2022.

If adopted, the bylaw is expected to come into force on 1 July 2022.

Save your progress and resume your submission at a later time.

Learn more

Have your say

Hearings

Would you like the opportunity to speak to the hearings panel about your submission?

If yes, please provide a phone number so we can arrange a speaking time with you.

Your details

Submissions are public information

We will require your contact details as part of our submission - it also means we can keep you updated throughout the project.

Your submission, name and address are given to the Community Board to help them make their decision.

Submissions, with names only, go online when the decision meeting agenda is available on our website.

If requested, submissions, names and contact details are made available to the public, as required by the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. 

View the Christchurch City Council Privacy Statement 2020.

If there are good reasons why your details and/or submission should be kept confidential, please contact our Engagement Manager on 03 941 8999 or 0800 800 169 (Banks Peninsula).

Organisation details

Complete the below if you are responding on behalf of a recognised organisation.

Please ensure you have the authority to comment on behalf of this organisation.

Supporting information

If uploading multiple files, please multi-select all files and upload all at once. The combined file size must not be larger than 10MB.

 

Once you submit your feedback you will receive an automated acknowledgement email. If you don't receive this email please contact the Engagement Advisor.

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Who to contact

Hannah Ballantyne,
Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Open for feedback