Abat­tle of two har­bours

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PASLEY

Auck­land Coun­cil is in­ves­ti­gat­ing which Auck­land har­bour should re­ceive over­flow­ing sewage dur­ing ex­treme weather events.

Last week Auck­land Coun­cil’s Healthy Wa­ter strat­egy and re­silience man­ager An­drew Chin said it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing mov­ing a pro­posed waste­water over­flow out­let from the Manukau Har­bour to the Waitem­ata Har­bour.

In 2019 Auck­land Coun­cil plans to build its mas­sive ‘‘cen­tral in­ter­cep­tor’’ project which will in­clude a $1 bil­lion, 13km un­der­ground sewage tun­nel that will deliver up to two mil­lion cu­bic me­tres of sewage and stormwa­ter to a pro­posed Man­gere treat­ment plant ev­ery year.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s wa­ter man­age­ment arm Water­care has con­sent to dis­charge un­treated waste­water into the Manukau Har­bour for times when emer­gency pres­sure re­lease is needed such as dur­ing an ex­treme wet weather event or when the pro­posed Man­gere pump sta­tion is un­avail­able.

There are also plans to build a $325 mil­lion wa­ter­front in­ter­cep­tor in 2026, af­ter the cen­tral in­ter­cep­tor is com­pleted. The pro­posed har­bour out­let would be part of the wa­ter­front in­ter­cep­tor.

Waste­water, or sewage, is more than 99 per cent wa­ter while the re­main­der is or­ganic mat­ter such as hu­man waste, food scraps, oil and de­bris.

Healthy Wa­ters’ project man­ager Chris Allen said an over­flow point in the Waitem­ata would be a way to pre­vent sewer over­flows into ur­ban streams, the Westhaven Ma­rina or the Viaduct.

‘‘The Waitem­ata Har­bour in the vicin­ity of the Har­bour Bridge has good as­sim­i­la­tion ca­pac­ity and is there­fore a likely can­di­date for an ini­tial sci­en­tific, en­gi­neer­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal eval­u­a­tion.’’

Water­care would not clar­ify whether the wa­ter­front in­ter­cep­tor over­flow point would re­place 41 ex­ist­ing waste­water over­flow points at Auck­land’s in­ner city beaches.

Hau­raki Gulf Fo­rum chair­man John Tregigda said he was not aware of the pro­posal. It was im­por­tant coun­cil recog­nised pub­lic con­cerns about the state of the gulf and in­vested in in­fra­struc­ture to meet its re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, he said.

Manukau Har­bour Restora­tion So­ci­ety spokesper­son Bron­wen Turner said it sup­ported a Waitem­ata out­let.

PETER MEECHAM/FAIR­FAX NZ

Sewage over­flow could be moved to near Auck­land’s Har­bour bridge.

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