Hamilton City Council has been granted a 20-year resource consent allowing it to continue to discharge wastewater from its existing Pukete treatment facility into the Waikato River.
An Environment Waikato hearings committee has made the decision after being told by HCC that the council will adopt new technology at the plant in the future to ensure it can cope with increased wastewater volumes as Hamilton grows.
“HCC is to be commended for the foresight and planning it has put into its future processes to ensure its resource consent application has been successful,” said Environment Waikato’s group manager resource use Dennis Crequer.
Hamilton City asked for a 35-year consent, while the committee heard a submission from Waikato-Tainui calling for a 10 year term with further investigation of land-based wastewater disposal options.
The hearings committee opted for the 20-year consent so that HCC had some longer-term certainty about the facility’s operation, whilst ensuring that the suitability of continuing with river discharges could be reviewed within a reasonable period.
“Environment Waikato is very committed to protecting the health of the Waikato River and we will work closely with HCC, Tainui and other community partners to maintain and enhance the water quality of this iconic regional waterway,” said Mr Crequer.
“I believe the hearings committee has struck an appropriate balance between different interests in arriving at its 20-year consent decision.”
The hearings committee comprised of Environment Waikato councilors Rex Hawkins and Laurie Burdett, and technical commissioners Peter Crawford and Rob van Duivenboden.