MEDIA RELEASE: Featherston wastewater project overview and update​ in new online resource

20 September 2019

South Wairarapa District Council has released a project overview and update of its Featherston Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade proposal on its website – here www.swdc.govt.nz/featherston-wastewater-project.

This new resource includes the project’s objectives, information about the resource consent process, as well as the additional technical assessment work being completed before the hearing process.

This work, which focuses on pathogens and groundwater effects, will enable SWDC to provide a more refined assessment of the extent of the potential effects, and what measures may be required to mitigate these.   

SWDC Chief Executive Harry Wilson says, “We hope the further technical assessments and monitoring work currently underway will resolve outstanding matters and address some of the issues raised throughout the submissions process. ​

“A number of key themes raised were reiterated during our July community engagement drop-in sessions, which has reinforced our understanding of the community’s main concerns. A strong desire for higher level wastewater treatment has been a reoccurring message.

“We are investigating what 'add on' options and improvements to the current proposal may be possible, to treat the wastewater to a standard that everyone is happy with.” ​

Other matters raised during the community engagement sessions included concerns relating to both health and environmental effects, groundwater quality, the location and size of the irrigation sites, as well as their proximity to the Featherston township.

In addition to groundwater monitoring and pathogen sampling, a public health risk assessment is underway in the form of a quantitative microbiological risk assessment, to estimate the risk from exposure to microorganisms. The process involves measuring known microbial pathogens or indicators and running a simulation to estimate the risk of transfer.

“We will have a better understanding about what level of treatment is required, costings, and what the feasible options are once this work has been completed,” says Mr Wilson.

SWDC continues to work collaboratively with Greater Wellington Regional Council to determine when a hearing date may be set.

ENDS

Media contact

Amy Wharram
027 252 2863

South Wairarapa District Council