Sunday, May 26, 2024

Consultation flows for Christchurch water bylaws

Consultation has begun on two new draft bylaws for Christchurch City Council’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services.

The Council is proposing replacing its current Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw 2014 with two separate bylaws – the Draft Water Supply and Wastewater Bylaw, and the Draft Stormwater and Land Drainage Bylaw.

The changes broadly focus on reducing contaminants in stormwater, strengthening the security of the district’s water supply network, and ensuring all of the water services networks generally operate efficiently.

Council Acting Head of Three Waters and Waste, Tim Drennan says the proposed changes are in response to regulatory changes the Council must comply with.

“Those changes include more stringent standards for drinking water safety and also stormwater discharge consent conditions, to improve the quality of stormwater channelled back into the environment,” he said.

“Having up to date fit-for-purpose bylaws will maintain good regulatory stewardship, meet the Council’s current obligations, protect our three waters infrastructure for our communities, and put the Council in a good regulatory position for the Government’s Three Waters Reform.

“While the bylaw reviews are separate to the reform, we do need to be in the best regulatory position possible in light of what has been signalled for the future.”

As part of its bylaw review, Council is proposing introducing an Industrial Stormwater Discharge Licence, which means some industrial premises would need to obtain a licence from the Council to continue discharging stormwater, depending on the type of activity.

Mr Drennan says the licensing system is designed to encourage improvements in how stormwater from industrial premises is managed.

“There will be costs associated with the system, so we really encourage operators of industrial businesses to look at our ‘Have your say’ webpage for more information and to get in touch if they have further questions.”

Submissions on the draft bylaws will be open for longer than usual, as the consultation period includes the summer break. Submissions will close on 9 February 2022, with hearings to be held shortly after.

“We encourage people to read more about the proposals and to make a submission if they have any suggestions or concerns,” adds Mr Drennan.

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