Decision made for wastewater repairs in Parklands and North New Brighton

A decision about how the wastewater network will be repaired in the Parklands and North New Brighton area has been made.

The decision is that the pressure wastewater [1] network will not be further extended in the Parklands and North New Brighton area. The damaged gravity wastewater [2] system will be repaired and this community will keep its current mix of gravity and pressure wastewater systems.

The story so far

Back in late 2012 SCIRT checked the damage to the wastewater system in the Parklands and North New Brighton area. Based on the damage found, SCIRT made a recommendation to our Owner Participants (Christchurch City Council, New Zealand Transport Authority, and Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority) to replace the existing gravity wastewater system with a pressure wastewater system.

Work started on installing a pressure wastewater system in the northern most part of this area. In October 2013, following a legal challenge to the Council’s decision making process, all work in Parklands and North New Brighton stopped to give the community the opportunity to provide feedback on the options for rebuilding the wastewater system.

What the community said

Around 26 percent of people in the Parklands and North New Brighton areas gave feedback. The feedback showed that people have different views about how to repair the wastewater network:

  • 17% agreed with having a pressure wastewater system installed
  • 6% were neutral
  • 77% disagreed.

SCIRT presented the community feedback to the Council in early 2014 to help inform the repair decision.

Reconsidering the repair options

In July/August 2014, SCIRT’s Owner Participants asked SCIRT to get more video footage of the pipe damage to see if repairing the existing gravity system could be reconsidered, and if this would provide an adequate wastewater service for this area.

As well as the community feedback the other things considered included:

  • Reviewing the damage with the current ‘design guidelines’. These guidelines are given to SCIRT to use to decide what damage is okay to leave for now, and what damage has to be fixed.
  • As there are 94 pressure wastewater tanks operating in the northern part of Parklands, any new design had to make sure the existing mix of gravity wastewater and new pressure wastewater would keep working well together.
  • The client organisations funding SCIRT works have to consider how best to meet all the city’s needs, including earthquake repairs waiting to be fixed, with available funding.

Making a decision

The results from this last piece of investigation work enabled SCIRT’s Owner Participants to relook at all the options and make a decision.

The decision is that the pressure wastewater network will not be further extended in the Parklands and North New Brighton area. The damaged gravity wastewater system will be repaired and this community will keep its current mix of gravity and pressure wastewater systems.

There are tanks installed and operating on properties in the northern part of Parklands. The Council continues to own and maintain these tanks and there are no plans to remove any of them. Pressure and gravity wastewater systems operate side-by-side throughout Christchurch.

There are also streets with a mix of properties connected to either the gravity wastewater system or the new pressure wastewater system. As it costs more money to support and maintain two wastewater systems in a street, the Council has offered some property owners connected to the gravity system the option to change to pressure wastewater if they rebuild their houses. This will help Council to ‘decommission’ any unused parts of the gravity system.

Property owners in Parklands and North New Brighton contacted

A letter has been sent to all affected property owners in the Parklands and North New Brighton area explaining the decision and how it affects them.

Wastewater repairs in the northern part of Parklands and North New Brighton are expected to get underway in coming weeks. Further information will be distributed before any work starts. 

We know it has taken a while, thanks for your patience

We know this process has taken a while and we appreciate the community’s ongoing patience.

Every aspect of this project was carefully reconsidered to find a cost effective way to provide an adequate wastewater system for the community.

We hope the community will welcome this news and look forward to work starting soon.

Pressure wastewater timeline

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October 2013:

The Christchurch City Council rescinded its decision to install pressure wastewater in ten areas of the city. This took into account a High Court judgment relating to the Council’s decision to install a pressure wastewater system in the Richmond area. The Court found the decision was flawed because the Council did not consult with property owners before making the decision.

Of the ten areas across Christchurch, eight of these were recorded as being areas where no work to install the system had begun and no consents had been received. The other two areas are in Parklands and were subject to a legal challenge.

December 2013:

SCIRT, on the Council’s behalf, completed a consultation process with property owners and residents in these ten areas about the different wastewater systems and what was proposed for their area.

Information was sent to each property owner and resident regarding their area. It was asked that all feedback be provided by 5pm Thursday 19 December 2013. 

February 2014:

SCIRT presented the community feedback to Council officers.

June 2014:

The Council made decisions about the final wastewater repair solution for the following areas:

Menlo Terrace, SCIRT ID 10942 (Mt Pleasant): pressure wastewater

Broad Street, SCIRT ID 11048 (Woolston): pressure wastewater

July 2014:

The Christchurch City Council changed how SCIRT was to install pressure wastewater systems. The Council made the change after considering legal advice on a District Court decision. The Council decided to give people choices, depending on feasibility

The choices at that time were:

  1. Have a tank installed on private property, or
  2. Connect to a tank installed in Council land, or
  3. Install an alternative system (at the property owner’s cost).

Property owners were able to choose to connect the electricity for the tank to their own power supply (and receive a rates remission to cover the average annual cost of the power used) or could choose to have it connected to the street supply. (See October 2014 for further details.)

August 2014:

The Council wrote a letter to property owners in the Parklands and North New Brighton areas, advising that more investigation work will be carried out by SCIRT to help inform a final decision on the wastewater repair solution for these areas.

October 2014:

Following exhaustive research it was determined that the cost associated with installing tanks in Council land is prohibitive and ‘not feasible’ when there is a limited amount of funding available for the rebuild. More information is included in the attacheddocument on this page.

July 2015:

The organisations funding SCIRT’s work (Christchurch City Council, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, and New Zealand Transport Agency) made a decision about the wastewater repairs for the Parklands and North New Brighton community. They considered:

  • the consultation feedback provided by the community late 2013.
  • the pipe damage and land conditions in the area with the current ‘design guidelines’. These guidelines are given to SCIRT to use to decide what damage is minor and okay to leave for now, and what damage has to be fixed.
  • how best to meet all the city’s needs, including earthquake repairs waiting to be fixed, with available funding.

A decision was made not to further extend the pressure wastewater network in the Parklands and North New Brighton area. The damaged gravity wastewater system will be repaired and the community will keep its current mix of gravity and pressure wastewater systems. A letter was sent to affected property owners.

Read more about the different types of wastewater systems here.

If you require further information, please contact us: info@scirt.co.nz

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Find out more

More background is available here [3].

If you have any questions, please contact the Christchurch City Council Call Centre on 941 8999.

Published: 09 July 2015

 

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