Our application to upgrade the Pukekohe Wastewater Treatment Plant has passed its final hurdle.
The Waikato Regional Council granted consent for the upgrades last month following an appeal period where no objections were received.
The 35-year resource consent allows us to service the rapidly-growing local population by more than doubling the volume of treated wastewater that can be discharged into Parker Lane Stream.
Infrastructure and environmental planning manager Mark Bourne says the consent is the result of focussed consultation with mana whenua and the local community.
"We've got a long-term consent – the longest consent you can get – to discharge top-quality treated wastewater to a tributary of the Waikato River, with the support of Te Taniwha o Waikato."
Te Taniwha o Waikato is a group representing the Waikato-Tainui marae along the lower Waikato River.
"The reason we have their support is because the high-quality effluent we'll be discharging will actually improve water quality in the stream. It will meet contact recreational standards," Mark says.
The plant, located in Parker Lane, treats wastewater from Pukekohe, Buckland, Tuakau and Patumahoe.
It will undergo a $60 million upgrade over the next four years. Stage one includes enabling works and the construction of a new activated sludge reactor with membrane bioreactors and a new UV facility.
Stage two will convert the old sequential batch reactors to activated sludge reactors. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.
Conditions of the consent include native riparian planting of a one-hectare area along the stream, the establishment of a community liaison group and five-yearly technology reviews.
The treatment plant upgrades coincide with a major upgrade to the Buckland trunk sewer system, including a new pump station in Buckland and associated pipework.