FRIENDS of Banks Peninsula was stunned to learn that the 5 options in the recent Akaroa Wastewater consultation were based on faulty data. As identified to submitters by email the Council only discovered the flow meter was not working while investigating the purple pipe network, the option overwhelmingly supported in the recent consultation. “If FRIENDS of Banks Peninsula hadn’t backed the communities of Robinsons Bay and Takamatua in their concerns over the outrageous proposals to dump wastewater into their beautiful valleys, and pushed for reuse in Akaroa through a purple pipe network this error might not have been discovered until much further down the track. The consequences could have been disastrous”, says spokesperson Sue Church. “Its certainly not the first mistake in this sorry process - there has been a litany of errors. A first round of consultation collapsed after the land proposed for wastewater disposal proved geotechnically unsuitable, letters sent to residents were incorrectly addressed and failed to turn up, and most recently the Council’s on-line submission process failed with many submissions disappearing into thin air”.
Most Akaroa residents are unaware that a huge pump and filtering plant has already been consented. This solid concrete box, 7 metres high, 17 metres long and 13 metres wide will be in full view from the highway when visitors arrive in historic Akaroa, and will be opened every few days to remove the smelly solids filtered before the water is pumped to the top of the Takamatua hill.
FRIENDS of Banks Peninsula has lost all confidence in the Council’s ability to manage this complex wastewater issue. Land disposal systems are running into trouble all around the country. They are either failing through saturation or at the very least needing to constantly expand. Land based disposal is not going to work for Akaroa where the steep, erosion prone land is unsuitable. Treating the water to the highest standard to enable beneficial reuse is now the becoming the norm around the world. The Council has received 237 submissions, and an additional 225 people endorsed the FRIENDS of Banks Peninsula submission, but did not make a personal submission. A purple pipe network is overwhelmingly supported by the community who live and work here and know the land first hand.