New sewerage system gains approval

By John Cousins

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The development of a satellite city at Papamoa East could usher in a new era of sewage disposal.

The new system, which is better suited to flat terrain, was discussed at a Tauranga City Council workshop.

Councillors heard about problems associated with the traditional gravity sewerage systems and the lessons learned from the Christchurch earthquakes.

Council infrastructure planning manager Graeme Jelley said the new pressure sewer technology had been installed in Maketu and areas of Rotorua that were formerly on septic tanks.

Unlike gravity systems, which allowed huge volumes of stormwater to enter sewers in heavy rain, there was minimal surface and groundwater intrusion.

The councillors agreed to consider putting pressure sewers into new greenfield subdivisions, particularly Wairakei at Papamoa East. It would mean consulting with developers and builders around the costs, along with possible changes to developer contributions.

"I am stoked at what I am hearing," Councillor Larry Baldock said.

Pressure sewers cost about $7000 per connection and involve the council owning the small 40kg pump that blows out the waste from each house into the council system.

The household pumps are triggered once the waste water reaches a certain depth in the well and provides the system pressure to the nearest pump station.

Mr Jelley said the costs overall worked out much the same as the gravity system but fell at different times and potentially on different parties.

Most of the costs of the pressure system fell when the houses were built so the proposal was to treat the $7000 as a subdivision impact fee so that section prices did not drop and house prices increase.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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