Treatment plant dryer on table

By John Maslin

Work is under way on remodelling the original pond at the Whanganui wastewater plant. Photo/Bevan Conley
Work is under way on remodelling the original pond at the Whanganui wastewater plant. Photo/Bevan Conley

The city's wastewater treatment plant is back on the table with the district council called to an extraordinary meeting on Monday.

The meeting will consider a motion proposed by councillor Rob Vinsen and this time the focus of attention is the dryer, which has been included in the redesigned plant.

The thermal dryer was a later addition to the original Cardno plan, adding an estimated $9.3 million to the costs of the rebuild, bringing that total to $41 million.

Mr Vinsen's motion asks council to immediately suspend the design process for the dryer until an independent review proves that the investment in the dryer is "financially prudent" without the participation of the Affco Group in the wastewater plant.

The Affco Group includes the Imlay works and Land Meats. The Imlay plant has been the biggest industrial discharger into the city's treatment plant but whether it will be involved in the new plant hasn't been resolved.

The dryer is seen as a key part of the new plant, drying the sludge from the plant to a much more manageable condition and amount so it can be easily disposed of off-site. It's the city's wet industries which create the greatest amount of sludge in the treatment plant.

Monday's meeting, starting at 4pm, will be open to the public.

Council chief executive officer Kym Fell said all the councillors were provided with supporting information at their meeting this week.

"That was to ensure they were fully informed of the consequences resulting from any decision to delay the dryer," Mr Fell said.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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