Wastewater Update May 17

Wastewater from Featherston, Martinborough and Greytown are currently treated in oxidation pond systems built in the early 1970s. These pond systems cannot effectively remove nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus which when released into waterways, can promote algae and plankton growth, contributing to algal blooms which are possibly toxic to humans and fish. SWDC has been implementing a long-term strategy of 100% wastewater disposal to land. Lake Ferry has been operating to this strategy since 2008 and in 2015 SWDC applied for 35 year consents for Martinborough and Greytown from the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC). These consents were granted to divert the treated wastewater from the water ways and irrigate instead to land in 2016. The consents that we have been granted will ensure that we can better manage our impact on the environment. Land and crops can more effectively absorb the nitrates and phosphates, with the added benefit of being able to sell crops produced, instead of discharging to our waterways. We will be protecting freshwater and at the same time being smarter about how we utilise this land by using it for more than one purpose – cropping, irrigation, gliding and providing access to rivers....read more.