The construction of the East Rotoiti Rotomā sewerage scheme is under way.
It will include building a wastewater treatment plant behind the Rotoiti Emery Store on State Highway 30 and laying about 22km of reticulation network from Matahī Rd in Rotomā to the plant
Rotorua Lakes Community Board chairman Phill Thomass credited the community collaboration for progressing the scheme.
"Over the past four and a half years, we as a community have been working to find a solution that looks after the mauri (life force) of the lakes as well as the health of their people.
"My heart lives in Rotoiti and I'm inspired by all the work done by the Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee and how it has helped our communities to build trust and friendships while developing this visionary scheme," he said.
Rotorua Lakes Council general manager of infrastructure Stavros Michael also acknowledged the community input.
"We couldn't have reached this milestone without leadership from Rotoiti and Rotomā."
The scheme has been led by the Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee since its inception in 2014 after the council's resource consent for its chosen scheme, at the time, was unsuccessful in the Environment Court in 2012.
Michael said earthworks to clear the Wastewater Treatment Plant site had finished and construction of the plant had started with the building of the bioreactor, which breaks down living organisms in the sewage.
"Progress to lay the sewerage pipeline can also be seen, and so far contractors have laid about seven of the 22km of reticulation network from Matahī to Manawahē Rd," he said.
Thomass said payment for the scheme would challenge some in the communities.
"This new development was brought to life after testing times and one thing I've taken away is how overcoming those challenges has reinvigorated our community spirit and the essence of collaboration.
"I know cost will be a burden for some people and work is being done to try to find solutions," Thomass said.
The council was continuing to contact residents and homeowners in Rotomā about the proposed location for their on-site pre-treatment sewerage device, Septic Tank Effluent Pumping system (STEP).
"While many of the property owners in Rotomā have made a decision on a site for their STEP system, we are still seeking agreements around unit locations from the rest of the community," Michael said.
"If residents do have questions about the on-site device, our engineer can visit them at home, and work with them to find a suitable spot for it to go. All properties are unique so it's important we work with our community to find solutions and we encourage them to call us at council on 348 4199."
If you would like to learn more about the East Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Scheme or to get updates, you can subscribe at www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/rotoitirotoma.
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