A significant environmental milestone will be achieved this month for Central Hawke’s Bay when Otāne’s wastewater discharge is removed from the Papanui stream and a new pipeline transporting Otāne’s wastewater to the Waipawa Wastewater Treatment plant is fully operational.
In 2018, after receiving consents to continue discharging treated wastewater into the Papanui stream for the foreseeable future, Council paused the project to instead consider an intergenerational, environmentally-focused strategy for wastewater management in Central Hawke’s Bay. The resultant new approach to managing and discharging Otāne’s wastewater will see all wastewater discharges removed from the district’s waterways by 2035.
“The completion of this project marks the first stage of an important journey for the district to remove our wastewater discharges from our district’s waterways, starting with the Papanui,” says Mayor, Alex Walker.
Work has also been underway at the Waipawa Wastewater Treatment Plant, upgrading treatment processes to ensure the Otāne wastewater does not have an impact on the quality of the current wastewater discharge into the Waipawa River, she said.
Significant treatment improvements have been made through the new plant and equipment, transforming the quality of the current discharge from the Waipawa Wastewater Treatment Plant, ahead of further work to see the wastewater discharged to land instead by 2035.
“The improvement in the quality of the wastewater being discharged from this work we’ve completed is staggering,” says Councillor Brent Muggeridge.
“Not only will we have completely removed our impact on the Papanui Stream, but we’ve also made significant improvement on the quality of wastewater being discharged in Waipawa – we’ve backed winners with both of these projects.”
Physical construction began in June 2020 and included a new pump station, and approximately 9km of new pipeline connecting Otāne to Waipawa.
The Otāne Pipeline and Pump Station had a total project cost of $5.8m with $3.4m funded by connected wastewater residents of Central Hawke’s Bay and $2.4m funded through Central Government’s Three Waters Tranche One Stimulus funding.