Milestone for the environment
Central Hawke's Bay District Council reached what it is calling “an environmental milestone” last week with the completion of the new leachate irrigation system at the district's landfill on Farm Rd, Waipukurau. Councillors, council officers, contractors and local landowners gathered at last Thursday's celebration of the completed project, where chief executive Monique Davidson said it was another important step forward in the Big Wastewater Story and council's wider Waste Free CHB strategy. “The completion of this project demonstrates council's commitment to our natural environment,” Davidson said. Deputy mayor Kelly Annand council was proud to continue its partnership with Higgins “who have once again supported us to deliver a project that aligns with our environmental aspirations.” Following council's decision in 2019 to invest in an environment focussed solution, an approach was adopted where the contaminated water is recycled through irrigation and placed back into completed areas of the landfill. This system replaces the need to transport leachate to the wastewater treatment plant, reducing the operational costs associated with disposing leachate and alleviating pressure on the plant, key to council's wastewater improvement programme. Councillor Brent Muggeridge said, “Ten years on from this project being initiated, we are able to achieve our community outcomes of being environmentally responsible and building durable infrastructure.” Construction began in 2019 with the removal of the old, damaged leachate pond followed by the installation of a new pumping system, pipework and pond which now provides 2300m3 of storage for leachate under normal operation and up to 3,100m3 in emergency conditions. Leachate will be stored in the pond when it cannot be irrigated, in most cases overnight and during wet weather. Leachate will seep through the landfill and travel via a gravity pipeline into the new pond, where it will be pumped through the new system, then irrigated back at slow rates, allowing time for the water to evaporate and transpire from the surface while preventing overflow.