Lake Tarawera residents could be looking at an almost $25,000 bill to connect their properties to Rotorua's sewerage system.
Rotorua district councillors say they will do their utmost to secure outside funding to lower costs.
Councillors voted to push forward with low-pressure grinder pumps as their preferred system of removing sewage from the lakeside community at an extraordinary meeting of the Rotorua District Council infrastructure services committee held yesterday.
Councillors had five options, ranging in cost from $15,000 to $44,000, for the 391 properties.
The pumps would help take sewage back to the wastewater treatment plant in the city.
Councillors and the Lake Tarawera community have to decide on a preferred option and put forward funding options before December 2014, when the Bay of Plenty Regional Council applies its On Site Effluent Plan.
The plan requires residents to upgrade their existing sewerage system to an advanced nutrient removal system, apply for a resource consent to allow them to continue using their existing system, or connect to a community system.
The plan is designed to stop nutrients from leaching into the lake, degrading water quality.
Infrastructure services committee chairwoman Glenys Searancke said councillors would attempt to secure subsidies from the Government or the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.
The council offers residents an automatic $1500 subsidy if they sign up to the scheme, the same subsidy offered to residents of other lakeside communities, such as Hamurana, Rotoiti and Rotoma, who have been through a similar process.
But Lake Tarawera residents do not qualify for a regional council subsidy for sewerage schemes because of their higher socio-economic status compared with other communities.
Councillor Dave Donaldson suggested the council offer a higher subsidy, but other councillors said it would be unfair to ratepayers.
Councillors decided to apply to the regional council for funding and should know by Christmas if their application had been successful.
Lake Tarawera residents can learn more about the proposed scheme at the Lake Tarawera Spring Fair on Labour Weekend.