16 August 2018 - A sewerage scheme which aims to protect the environmental and cultural health of the lakes in Rotoiti and Rotomā is now being built for its community.
Construction of the East Rotoiti |Rotomā Sewerage Scheme will include:
building a Wastewater Treatment Plant behind the Rotoiti Emery Store; and
laying about 22 kilometres of reticulation network from Matahī Road in Rotomā to the plant
Rotorua Lakes Community Board chair, Phill Thomass, who’s exicited that construction is underway, credits community collaboration for progressing the scheme.
“Over the past four-and-a-half years, we as a community have been working to find a solution that looks after the mauri (life force) of the lakes as well as the health of their people. My heart lives in Rotoiti and I’m inspired by all the work done by the Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee and how it has helped our communities to build trust and friendships while developing this visionary scheme,” he says.
Rotorua Lakes Council’s General Manager of Infrastucture, Stavros Michael, acknowledges the community input.
“We couldn’t have reached this milestone without leadership from Rotoiti and Rotomā,” he says.
The scheme has been led by the Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee since its inception in 2014 after Council's resource consent for its chosen scheme, at the time, was unsuccessful in the Environment Court in 2012.
Residents can visit www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/rotoitirotoma for construction updates.
The online information will include:
background about the scheme
the purpose of the scheme
questions and answers
drone footage and photos of the progress
Mr Michael says updates on the scheme will also be available.
“Earthworks to clear the Wastewater Treatment Plant site have finished and construction of the plant has started with building the bioreactor, which breaks down living organisms in the sewage. Progress to lay the sewerage pipeline can also be seen, and so far contractors have laid about seven of the 22 kilometres of reticulation network from Matahī to Manawahē Road,” he says.
Mr Thomass says payment for the scheme will challenge some in the communities.
“This new development was brought to life after testing times and one thing I’ve taken away is how overcoming those challenges has reinvigorated our community spirit and the essence of collaboration. I know cost will be a burden for some people and work is being done to try to find solutions,” he says.
Council is continuing to contact residents and homeowners in Rotomā about the proposed location for their on-site pre-treatment sewerage device, Septic Tank Effluent Pumping system (STEP).
“While many of the property owners in Rotomā have made a decision on a site for their STEP system, we are still seeking agreements around unit locations from the rest of the community. If residents do have questions about the on-site device, our engineer can visit them at home, and work with them to find a suitable spot for it to go. All properties are unique so it’s important we work with our community to find solutions and we encourage them to call us at Council on 348 4199,” says Mr Michael.
If you would like to learn more about the East Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Scheme or to get updates, you can subscribe at www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/rotoitirotoma.