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Already achieving wastewater reduction

19 Jun 2009

Already achieving wastewater reduction

Great progress has been made in reducing the amount of ground and surface water getting into Gisborne city's wastewater system.

Wastewater project manager Peter McConnell told the Wastewater Management Committee today that the inflow and infiltration project run by council's utilities division will reduce flows to the new wastewater treatment plant into the future.

Developing appropriate educational information to encourage reductions in household and industry wastewater is a function of the Wastewater Management Committee as part of council's wastewater consents.

Mr McConnell said that while the committee had not undertaken any specific publicity work on the issue, the utilities division had actively reduced domestic wastewater through its infiltration reduction programme.

"In the near future, the Wastewater Management Committee will be more actively involved in developing educational information aimed at reducing inflows to the wastewater treatment plant with the long-term aim of reducing energy consumption.

"The inflow and infiltration programme is making good progress in reducing ground and surface water getting into the sewer network. Although there is no active programme yet to reduce water use in domestic dwellings, the building code promotes water saving devices, now mandatory in all new dwellings.

"Council's utilities division also has a project which is expected to reduce use of water over time by reducing pressure in areas where water pressure is higher than necessary."

The trade waste consent compliance process encourages industry to reduce its wastewater.

"Industrial users now have to produce a water and wastewater management plan with the aim of reducing trade waste flows over time.  The proposed increase in trade waste charges from $0.011 to $0.30 has given industry a strong incentive to reduce water usage."

He expected the utilities division to become more active in promoting the wise use of water over time, given the cost involved in increasing water storage in the collection catchment.

"The wastewater treatment plant will consume a lot of electricity so will become more important to have the wise use of water and reduce the volume of wastewater entering the system. The less wastewater to be treated, the less electricity needed and the lower the running cost."