Rotorua Lakes Council is committed to implementing the East Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Scheme as landowners in the area continue calls to know the final cost of the scheme.

The council discussed the scheme at a full council meeting earlier in the month when it was provided with an update on objections received in relation to the proposed installation of Septic tank Pre-Treatment systems on private properties at Lake Rotomā.

The system pre-treats wastewater, which is then pumped to a treatment plant, and would take about two days to install per property.

The council sought agreement from landowners for the work to be done on private land and 153 approvals and 11 objections were received, and 49 did not sign or object.

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Rotomā No 1 Trust provided blanket approval for properties it leases out.

The objections centred around the need for the scheme, the cost and individual site issues.

At the meeting, the council's infrastructure general manager Stavros Michael said the need had been well established and a cost had been estimated.

"Individual site issues will be dealt with on a site by site basis. We're continuously working with landowners."

According to the council website the scheme as a whole will cost about $31.7m. Of that $24.4m is subsidised.

Of the objections published in the council agenda, one resident wrote she didn't have an issue with the scheme, but couldn't agree to installation until the council showed it could complete the project within budget.

"There are no guarantees from the council that their already estimated huge cost won't increase," wrote another.

Others complained they already had adequate and long-lasting septic tank systems.

After the meeting Lakes Community Board chairman Phill Thomass said he felt the majority of the community was in favour of the scheme.

"The important thing is it's for the health of the lakes and the people.

"Doing nothing is not an option."

Thomass said the alternative to reticulation would have been more expensive.

Lakes Community Board chairman Phill Thomass (right) with other members of the board.
Lakes Community Board chairman Phill Thomass (right) with other members of the board.

"Although it's a lot of money I think it's the cheapest option and there is an opportunity to pay it off over a period of time.

"I live in the scheme area and it's a real concern. It's a significant amount of money."

Thomass said the scheme had been developed by a community steering group and there had been a number of public meetings.

"In the future we'll look back and see what benefit it's been to the lakes and the people that live there."

The council will operate and maintain the systems using funds from a targeted rate of about $400 charged to all properties connected to a sewerage system in the district.

If the cost fell solely on local ratepayers, that levy would be about $1800 per property.

Lake Rotoma/Rotoehu Community Association chairwoman Su Cammell said residents were disgruntled and concerned they didn't know the cost of the scheme but anything that preserved the lake was a help.

The East Rotoiti Rotomā sewerage scheme includes 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.