Why isn’t DrainWise the priority?

LETTER

In Friday night’s paper there was a report regarding water quality in the bay and rivers. This tends to bear out what Gordon Webb said in a recent article.

I was interested to see there was not a significant deterioration in the Cut area during storm events. One can only assume the results do not cover the times when the “scours” were opened to offset water incursion problems in the Kaiti area.

We are told the tidal rivers have problems which appear to be caused by agricultural sources, dog and bird faeces. This brings into question the current projected level of expenditure to improve the quality of wastewater from the Stanley Road site.

I am also interested to see the weight being given to the results of the recent postal and other media survey; 1172 respondents from a ratepayer base of some 22,000 seems a small sample for extrapolation of results for decision-making. The sample does seem to suffer from skewing, with regard to age and income levels.

I see that the consent requirements change in 2019 and 2020. One wonders why the DrainWise Project does not assume a greater priority.

Ron Taylor

Footnote response from GDC wetlands project manager Wolfgang Kanz:

Water quality of tidal rivers and The Cut has been analysed both when there are overflows and times when wastewater from previous overflows should not be having an effect. Data shows that the water quality is affected by overflow events, but also outside these times there are other sources of contamination which may be having a larger impact on recreation in the rivers and beaches all year round.

This could include agricultural runoff, persistent pathogen populations in creek/river sediments, dog and bird excrement, and general stormwater runoff. The DrainWise project will not address these issues that on an ongoing basis are causing the poor water quality in the tidal rivers and at The Cut. DrainWise is also not just about health risks in our rivers but a key objective is minimising health risks from overflows on private property.

Ultimately water quality improvements for these waterways are part of the council’s Freshwater Plan.

The proposed stage 2 upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant is a requirement of the council’s resource consent imposed by the Environment Court to achieve a certain minimum water quality by 2020.

These existing consent deadlines come into force in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The council is working towards those deadlines.

The information gathered through the questionnaires will be statistically assessed and will help inform Council on the community views. This information will be publically available once complete.

Prioritisation and affordability of the option we propose will be formally consulted with the community for the Long Term Plan in March and April next year.

In Friday night’s paper there was a report regarding water quality in the bay and rivers. This tends to bear out what Gordon Webb said in a recent article.

I was interested to see there was not a significant deterioration in the Cut area during storm events. One can only assume the results do not cover the times when the “scours” were opened to offset water incursion problems in the Kaiti area.

We are told the tidal rivers have problems which appear to be caused by agricultural sources, dog and bird faeces. This brings into question the current projected level of expenditure to improve the quality of wastewater from the Stanley Road site.

I am also interested to see the weight being given to the results of the recent postal and other media survey; 1172 respondents from a ratepayer base of some 22,000 seems a small sample for extrapolation of results for decision-making. The sample does seem to suffer from skewing, with regard to age and income levels.

I see that the consent requirements change in 2019 and 2020. One wonders why the DrainWise Project does not assume a greater priority.

Ron Taylor

Footnote response from GDC wetlands project manager Wolfgang Kanz:

Water quality of tidal rivers and The Cut has been analysed both when there are overflows and times when wastewater from previous overflows should not be having an effect. Data shows that the water quality is affected by overflow events, but also outside these times there are other sources of contamination which may be having a larger impact on recreation in the rivers and beaches all year round.

This could include agricultural runoff, persistent pathogen populations in creek/river sediments, dog and bird excrement, and general stormwater runoff. The DrainWise project will not address these issues that on an ongoing basis are causing the poor water quality in the tidal rivers and at The Cut. DrainWise is also not just about health risks in our rivers but a key objective is minimising health risks from overflows on private property.

Ultimately water quality improvements for these waterways are part of the council’s Freshwater Plan.

The proposed stage 2 upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant is a requirement of the council’s resource consent imposed by the Environment Court to achieve a certain minimum water quality by 2020.

These existing consent deadlines come into force in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The council is working towards those deadlines.

The information gathered through the questionnaires will be statistically assessed and will help inform Council on the community views. This information will be publically available once complete.

Prioritisation and affordability of the option we propose will be formally consulted with the community for the Long Term Plan in March and April next year.

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John Edwards - 17 days ago
Then why did Meng Foon campaign for 2 percent rates increases year after year if the final result was going to be massive increases for all, year on year? We could have smoothed these upcoming costs out for years already. I invite Meng to comment and explain how holding rates at 2 percent over recent years has helped us now.