Drinking and waste water options for the rapidly developing areas around Ashburton could be on the table in the next long-term plan (LTP).
The Ashburton District Council has a $200,000 budget to investigate extending its drinking water and wastewater networks which will feed into planning for the next LTP.
Council infrastructure services group manager, Neil McCann, said there is $100,000 funding for the 2022/23 financial year to investigate the possibility of providing a wastewater service to Residential D zoned land around Ashburton.
Then there is $100,000 allocated from the 2021/22 year to carry out detailed design for potable water supply in the north-east of Ashburton, which McCann said is now planned to be done in conjunction with the wastewater investigations.
“This funding was established to investigate the feasibility of providing wastewater services to the north-east Ashburton and other areas on the periphery of Ashburton zoned Residential D.
“Whilst the water funding includes detailed design, the wastewater funding doesn’t include design of any extensions at this stage.”
The feasibility study will determine options for servicing the areas, the likely rough order cost of each option, and how any extension might be funded, he said.
“The main difficulty with extensions of this nature is that the landowners interested in developing their land may see the benefit of the service and be prepared to pay, but landowners who already have a satisfactory onsite disposal system and no interest in development may not want to pay.”
Following the completion of the investigative work, McCann said a council workshop will use the findings to guide the next steps in the process.
For the north-west area of Ashburton there is already a $4.9m wastewater servicing project this year.
McCann said the project will provide the physical infrastructure necessary for wastewater servicing to an area bounded by Farm Road, Racecourse Road, Allens Road, and Mill Creek.
“This area has a higher priority, as it is zoned Residential C, typical urban residential development.”
It was suggested at a recent council meeting that, with the impending handover of assets and projects to the new Three Waters entities, it would make sense to have the Three Waters water projects in the pipeline as soon as possible to avoid them being put to the back of a long line of proposed projects across the country.
McCann said it remains unclear how any planned works will be programmed and progressed in the transition to the new entities.
- By Jonathan Leask