Sorting our sewerage in Kerikeri
We have had a couple of queries lately about the upgrade to the Kerikeri Sewerage Scheme. Here is some information direct from the Council about the upgrade to the Kerikeri Wastewater Treatment Plant and connecting more properties to the plant. For a full history of the sewerage story so far please see www.fndc.govt.nz/services/water-wastewater-and-refuse/waste-water/sorting-out-sewerage-in-kerikeri.
An investment in our future
The Kerikeri Wastewater Treatment Plant is 25 years-old - too old and too small. Kerikeri is growing rapidly and the plant can't handle the load. In fact, it is over capacity now. Something needs to be done. And it is going to be done.
Kerikeri is to get an entirely new wastewater treatment plant and a greatly expanded network of pipes to connect more homes and businesses and to allow for further growth.
At this stage, the Council aims to have the new plant up and running by the end of October 2017. We must meet this deadline in order to remain eligible for subsidy funding provided by the Government. New connections will become available at about this time depending on location. As soon as the new plant comes on line we will decommission and demolish the existing plant in Shepherd Road.
The new plant will be hidden from sight at a rural location in an abandoned quarry (subject to land acquisition) and will be modular in construction to allow for growth. It will smell less and be quieter than the existing plant.
It will also have greater capacity. The current plant is treating about 500 cubic metres of wastewater a day and often exceeds the capacity we have allowed for it. The new plant will treat up to 1000 cubic metres, effectively doubling the number of properties able to connect to the system.
Discharge of treated effluent will be in the same location as the existing site, in the Waitangi Forest Wetlands - well away from everybody.
The project is still at a very early stage. The Council has provided the information below to answer questions people may have and will update this page as the project develops.
Questions and Answers
Q: What is this new sewerage scheme all about?
A: Kerikeri is to have a new wastewater treatment plant and an expanded sewerage network. The existing wastewater treatment plant near the junction of Shepherd and Inlet roads, which has reached the end of its life and is unable to accept any increase in the volume of sewage to be treated, will be decommissioned. It will be replaced by a new plant three kilometres away from the centre of town on the edge of the Waitangi Forest.
Q: I live in Kerikeri. Will my property be connected to the new sewerage scheme?
A: The expanded coverage of the new sewerage scheme will be generally in accordance with the plan shown in the Long Term Plan 2015-25. We will be publishing a detailed map showing the area we will be servicing in The Bay Chronicle and on our website soon.
Q: Will I have to connect to the scheme if my property is in the sewerage network area?
A: Under current Council policy, properties within 30 metres of sewer pipes will need to connect to the scheme. However, Council is reviewing this requirement out of fairness to people who have recently invested in on-site effluent disposal systems.
Q: My on-site system is performing well. Why should I have to connect to the new system?
A: With on-site treatment systems, there is the possibility of effluent leaching into neighbouring properties and waterways, particularly if the systems are not maintained well. By decommissioning on-site systems and connecting to the network we remove that risk, and relieve owners of future maintenance issues.
Q: Will I be compensated for not being able to use my existing system?
A: No. The Council will not purchase existing on-site systems or offer compensation. However, as stated above, it is considering a review of connection requirements for those who have recently installed an on-site system.
Q: How will this be paid for?
A: Sewer schemes are funded by targeted rates on properties where the sewer is available. We have a Ministry of Health subsidy for part of a project and this will help keep costs at a minimum. There will also be a one-off connection fee for those connecting to the network.
Q: I have heard about the new Kerikeri Sewerage System. I don't live in Kerikeri and I am certainly not going to be connected to it. Am I expected to pay for it?
A: No. Under the current funding arrangements, it is a user-pay scheme, and if you are not in the connection area you will not be paying for it.
Q: I am already connected to the network. Will I be paying more because of the new plant and piping?
A: Yes, the sewer targeted rate for Kerikeri will be increasing in line with the Council's Long Term Plan 2015-25.
Q: Council is only connecting properties in the central area of Kerikeri. Are outlying areas such as Riverview going to be connected and if so when?
A: Outlying areas such as Riverview and Reinga Heights will be considered for connection after the completion of the initial programme in central Kerikeri.
Q: What about areas such as south-east of Shepherd Road or Inlet Road, which are both close to the treatment plant. Why are they not in the new sewerage network area
A: Council has a limited budget and is planning this project to give the immediate benefit to as many homes as it can. Logically, that means connecting high-density housing first (zoned residential, commercial and industrial), starting in the town centre and then moving out into other areas.
Q: When is the new Kerikeri Sewerage Scheme going to happen?
A: At this point the Council is planning to have the new plant and reticulation system operational by the end of 2017.
Q: I represent a neighbourhood group. Can you organise someone to come and talk to us about this new scheme?
A: Yes. We are happy to do that. Just phone us on 0800 920 029 or use our online contact form http://www.fndc.govt.nz/contact/email-us