CASE STUDY

Responding to stakeholder needs crucial for Pukekohe consent

The Waikato Regional Council granted a 35-year consent for upgrades to the Pukekohe Wastewater Treatment Plant in October 2017.

The consent allows Watercare to service the rapidly-growing local population by more than doubling the volume of treated wastewater that can be discharged into Parker Lane Stream.

Infrastructure and environmental planning manager Mark Bourne says the consent is the result of focused consultation with mana whenua and the local community.

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“What we have here is a sustainable solution that allows us to discharge treated wastewater into the environment economically and safely, while catering for the growing population for the next 35 years.”

“We’ve been granted a long-term consent – the longest consent awarded at present – to discharge top-quality treated wastewater to a tributary of the Waikato River, with the support of Te Taniwha o Waikato,” Mark says.

Te Taniwha o Waikato is a group representing the Waikato-Tainui marae along the lower Waikato River.

“The reason we have their support is because the high-quality effluent will contribute to a better and healthier ecosystem.”

The plant will undergo a $60 million upgrade over the next four years. Stage one includes enabling works and the construction of a new activated sludge reactor with membrane bioreactors and a new ultraviolet (UV) disinfection facility. Stage two will convert the old sequential batch reactors to activated sludge reactors. The project is expected to be completed in 2021.

Conditions of the consent include native riparian planting of a one hectare area along the stream, the establishment of a community liaison group and five-yearly technology reviews.

Mark says the project is a “prime example of everyone working together as one team”.

“The team never works in isolation. We’ve had infrastructure planning, environmental planning, service delivery, infrastructure delivery and stakeholder communications all heavily involved in seeing this project through to consent.

VALUE BEING CREATED:

  • Customer trust and value
  • Engaged communities and stakeholders