A decision to invest in the environment by redirecting leachate to land was taken by elected members at Central Hawke's Bay District Council's full council meeting recently.

Council members unanimously agreed to invest a further $333,000 in the long-term environmental solution for managing leachate - water that comes from landfill waste and chemicals.

Currently leachate is tankered to the Waipawa and Waipukurau wastewater treatment plants for disposal.

The new leachate-to-land system will recycle the leachate back through the landfill by capturing it in a nearby storage pond and irrigating it back on to a closed section of landfill, before repeating the process.

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This approach is used worldwide and is one of the most effective ways of disposing of leachate. It aligns to new resource consent conditions.

The leachate to land process will take pressure off the Waipukurau and Waipawa wastewater treatment plants. It will also improve operations and reduce expenditure by removing the daily tanker requirements. The current system has leachate transported to wastewater ponds several times a day.

The council has been granted an amended resource consent by Hawke's Bay Regional Council to allow the work to start this week. It will be completed by February 2020. Construction is forecast to have very little, if any impact on local residents.

The project has a budget of $867,000 and requires a significant amount of earthworks, development of pipe work, irrigation fields, pumping equipment and a large storage pond on site.

"This landmark decision to press forward with a new approach to managing leachate represents a long-term investment in our environment, our ratepayers and our communities," Monique Davidson, chief executive of Central Hawke's Bay District Council, said.

"Not only does this sustainable approach reduce the operational costs associated with disposing of leachate, but it also reduces the impact on our environment, preserving it for generations."