An Environment Waikato hearings committee has granted Taupo District Council (TDC) a consent that will enable it to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant at Rickit St, Taupo, as long as a range of conditions designed to control odour are met.
The plant is relatively close to residential areas and a number of submitters wanted the whole plant re-located. The hearings committee acknowledged that calm wind speeds at the site meant there was higher potential for odours from it to cause “adverse effects”, so there was a greater need to control emissions.
The committee said TDC needed to implement the best practicable ways of avoiding discharging potentially offensive and objectionable odours beyond the site boundary. But it rejected submissions asking that the plant produce “zero odour”.
After hearing expert advice, the committee granted the consent subject to a range of conditions which it was satisfied would mean potential adverse effects would either be minor or able to be adequately avoided, remedied or mitigated.
The committee also imposed conditions requiring TDC to engage a suitably qualified technical expert in 2021, halfway through the consent duration, to assess the effectiveness of the site upgrades at preventing objectionable odours beyond the plant boundary. “This mid-term review provides an assurance to submitters that the effectiveness of the odour mitigation measures will be reassessed at that time.”