Water and wastewater infrastructure damaged by flooding last month will be repaired through the Central Otago District Council’s emergency funds.
The council authorised the $165,000 spend at its meeting on Wednesday last week.
On July 19, heavy rain inundated the Omakau Wastewater Treatment Plant next to the Manuherikia River for about 24 hours, extensively damaging the embankments with tree debris, silt and gravel, and floodwater entered the two treatment ponds.
Wastewater also spilled into the Manuherikia River.
Record or near-record rainfall was documented at several weather stations in Central Otago, and water supplies in Naseby, Ranfurly, and in particular Omakau were affected, resulting in a boil water notice for Omakau and Ophir for two weeks.
Council Three Waters director Julie Muir said given the severity of the event, the council, the community and the plant had ‘‘dodged a bullet’’ in terms of the extent of damage to the site. There was no ‘‘quick fix’’ to the problem and work on long-term solutions was under way.
Council staff were working to identify a new treatment site and options for discharge to land instead of to water. A business case was being prepared regarding options. Those under consideration include acombined treatment plant for Alexandra, Clyde and Omakau, as both the Alexandra and Omakau resource consents are due for renewal in the next five years.
A solution which provides treatment and discharge to meet current environmental requirements is expected to cost between $30 million and $60 million.