At a Council meeting in Mangawhai on July 28, Kaipara commissioners received the final report from the Mangawhai Community Waste Water Scheme (MCWWS) advisory panel following its work reviewing the scheme over the past six months.
Panel members highlighted their key findings:
n The capture of 100 percent of the properties within the MCWWS drainage district through mandatory connection and expansion of the reticulation network is essential for the long term health of the marine environment and provides the best financial outcome for the community.
n The treatment plant is in general performing well, however will need more capacity added to specific components over the next five years.
n Land based disposal of the treated effluent through a combination of the existing Lincoln Downs Farm, the Mangawhai Community Park, and the Mangawhai Golf Course is the preferred option, however is dependent on further geotechnical investigations of the soakage capacity of those areas. Failing this, an ocean-based outfall should be investigated while acknowledging Iwi objection to this option.
Their report includes 22 recommendations in all.
Chair of Commissioners John Robertson noted that when the panel was appointed late last year, Council was keen to get a set of independent community eyes to review the MCWWS.
“We wanted them to review its fitness for purpose. We wanted them to review the capacity of its two key parts; the processing plant in Mangawhai and the Lincoln Downs Farm where treated liquids are disposed of,” said Mr Robertson.
“We also asked them to review and make recommendations on Council policies that determine such things as whether connection to the scheme should be compulsory, how costs should be apportioned, and where and how quickly further reticulation to replace septic tanks should be progressed.
“The report is comprehensive. Council now needs to commission further work to test the disposal options, and do further analysis on extending the reticulation system to enable more properties to hook up. Once we develop our proposals, we will engage and consult with the community.”
Mr Robertson noted the considerable time put in to the exercise by the Community Advisory Panel members.
“The Commissioners want to acknowledge and thank community panel members, D’Arcy Quinn as Chair, Dr Ian Greenwood, Darryl Reardon, Dr Gordon Hosking, Peter Wethey and Belinda Vernon. They contributed their individual expertise and generously gave their time. This was community voluntarism at its best.”