AR 140519809

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has received an application by the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council to substantially increase the concentration of Ammoniacal Nitroen coming from its Waipukurau wastewater treatment plant.

CHB District Council has upgraded its Waipawa and Waipukurau wastewater treatment plants to meet new standards required under new resource consents, which came into effect in October 2014.

The resource consents allow for a certain number of exceedances during a 12 month period. Earlier this year abatement notices were served on the CHB District Council after it failed to meet the required discharge standards.

With new clarifiers installed there were signs of improvement, however over the winter months there have been elevated concentrations of Ammoniacal Nitrogen, as the colder winter temperatures make it more difficult to achieve compliance. This was deemed sufficiently significant enough for HBRC to compel CHB District Council to take actions to remedy the situation.

CHB District Council has submitted a change of resource consent conditions for the Waipukurau plant seeking a change of the Ammoniacal Nitrogen discharge limits to align them with the new guidelines set out in Tukituki Plan Change 6.

The change sought would increase the concentration of Ammoniacal Nitrogen in the discharge by six times compared to the current limit.  The justification for allowing this increase is that in-river monitoring over the last five years has shown that the discharge has had little impact on the ecological health of the river.

HBRC has placed the application on hold while a review is made of the proposal.  Work is also being done to understand the reasoning and basis for the Ammoniacal Nitrogen limits currently imposed on the discharge. 

No decision has yet been made on whether the application will be notified or not.

Media contact

Helen Shea, Communications Specialist|P 06 833 8085, 027 662 5953

Susan Wylie, Senior Communications Coordinator | P 06 835 9208, 027 256 8549

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