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Council invests in the environment by redirecting leachate to land

Leachate Project Site at Landfill

A landmark decision to invest in the environment by redirecting leachate to land was taken by elected members at Central Hawke’s Bay District Council’s full council meeting last week.

Council members unanimously agreed to invest a further $333,000 in this long term environmental solution for managing leachate, the water that comes from being in contact with landfill waste and chemicals.  

Under current arrangements leachate collected at the site is tankered to the Waipawa and Waipukurau wastewater treatment plants for disposal. The new leachate to land system will instead recycle the leachate continuously back through the landfill by capturing it in a nearby storage pond, and irrigating it back on to a closed section of landfill, before repeating the process again. This approach is used world-wide, is considered one of the most effective ways of disposing of leachate and aligns to new resource consent conditions.

The leachate to land process will take pressure off the Waipukurau and Waipawa wastewater treatment plants which currently process the leachate. It will also improve operations and reduce expenditure by removing the daily tanker requirements of the current system which has leachate redirected to wastewater ponds several times a day.

The Council has been granted an amended resource consent by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council to allow the works to take place, which start this week and will be completed by February 2020. Construction will have very little, if any impact on local residents.

The overall project has a budget of $867,000 and requires a significant amount of earthworks, the development of pipe work, irrigation fields, pumping equipment and a large storage pond on site.

Monique Davidson, chief executive of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council said: “This landmark decision to press forward with a new approach to managing leachate represents a long term investment in our environment, our ratepayers and our communities. Not only does this sustainable approach reduce the operational costs associated with disposing of leachate, but it also reduces the impact on our environment, preserving it for generations to come.”

2 September 2019

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