Improvements to environment and lifestyle are being reported by Whangarei Heads residents who connected their properties to the Whangarei Heads Sewerage Scheme six years ago, and more households are invited to hook up.
16/06/2014 11:39 a.m.
“The greatest benefit of the scheme is the way it reduces the health risks to people living on or around properties that have old and failing septic systems,” said WDC Waste and Drainage Manager, Andrew Carvell.
“People have also reported the odours from the old septic tanks and soakage fields have disappeared and washing machine waste is no longer going into the stormwater system. They have also reported that connecting to the sewer has saved time and money on on-going septic system maintenance and has freed up land that was occupied by septic systems.”
He said local improvements in harbour water quality have also been seen in Parua Bay where failing onsite systems had contributed to high bacterial counts around the oyster farm in the past.
The scheme was developed after water quality investigations between 1985 and 1994 revealed that on-site (private) systems were causing pollution in the Whangarei Heads area.
“We surveyed 534 septic tanks in 1998 and found 70 percent to be failing, 22% posed potential problems and only 8% were functioning satisfactorily,” Mr Carvell said.
“The scheme was built with enough spare capacity to connect 1,500 and only 750 are connected right now. We have funds in our Long Term Plan so that the system can be expanded in future. We encourage all existing and new properties within the area to link up.”
Mr Carvell said property owners wanting to connect to the scheme should apply to Council. The fee is $24,568.20 (GST incl) per rating unit for the 2013/14 Financial Year. The money recovered from this charge covers in part the $17m capital cost that was incurred to construct the pipeline and associated infrastructure. Once connected, homeowners also contribute to the schemes operation through an annual user charge (known as a pan charge).
Please contact our call centre if you want to know about whether your property has access to Council's sewerage system, if a connection point exists to the property boundary or for any other information about connecting to the Whangarei Heads sewerage system.