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Update June 2018

Wellington Water, on behalf of Hutt City Council, applied for resource consent from Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) for the intermittent discharge of treated wastewater from the Seaview Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to the Hutt River in November 2017.

Following lodgement of the resource consent application, GWRC requested more information regarding the dispersal of the treated wastewater in the Hutt River. Wellington Water are currently responding to this request and hope to provide further information to GWRC by the end of June. GWRC will then decide whether to publically notify the application, and if required hold a public hearing. We will continue to provide updates on the application as it progresses.

 

Overview

The existing resource consents for temporary discharges of treated wastewater from the Seaview Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Waiwhetu Stream will be expiring on 1 February 2018. 

Wellington Water lodged a resource consent application on behalf of Hutt City Council (HCC) with Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) for a proposal to improve environmental outcomes in the Waiwhetu Stream and Hutt River.

The proposal involves $12M of improvements relating to the occasional discharge of treated wastewater from the Seaview Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to the Waiwhetu Stream. This occurs 4-5 times a year during wet weather and also when the Main Outfall Pipeline (MOP) to Pencarrow requires repair or maintenance (this has happened 6 times in the past 10 years).

There are two key elements to the improvements:

1. The removal of the occasional discharge of treated wastewater into the Waiwhetu Stream and relocation of the discharge to the Hutt River Estuary through a new outfall. This means the discharge will be into coastal water which is less sensitive than the freshwater environment of the Waiwhetu Stream.
 
2. The building of a new 10 million litre storage tank at the WWTP site to reduce the number of wet weather discharges by one or two per year, and enable the discharges during repair of the MOP to be released on the outgoing tide.

The decision to seek resource consent for these improvements comes after several years of investigations, assessment, and community engagement by the Wellington Water project team and our partner organisations. A robust and collaborative option assessment process was followed, with community and iwi involvement integral to identifying a preferred option.The proposed improvements form part of a long term commitment to reducing wastewater network overflows in the Hutt catchment and improving environmental and public health outcomes.

In terms of next steps, GWRC will now review the consent application. It's likely that the application will be publically notified meaning the community and stakeholders can make submissions on the proposal. A public hearing will then be held in front of independent commissioners who will decide whether to grant consent or not.