Newsline 341 - 16 January 2015

Friday 16 January 2015

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Richmond Water – Changing for the Better

The new water treatment facility on the corner of McShane Road and Lower Queen Street  is nearly finished.

From February 2015, the way water is supplied in Richmond will be changing when the new Richmond Water Treatment Plant (RWTP)  comes online. This will enable the Council to comply with changes  to the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards. Currently there are two separate supplies which provide drinking water to the Champion Road and Queen Street reservoirs. The current Champion Road supply is chlorinated while the Queen Street supply is not treated.

The new Richmond Water Treatment Plant will blend water from the Waimea and Richmond borefields, disinfect the water using ultra violet light (UV) and correct the pH level before pumping the water to the Champion Road and Queen Street reservoirs. The water will no longer need to be chlorinated.

Over the coming months the RWTP will be tested and gradually brought into service. Most people will not be affected during this period of commissioning, although some may notice temporary and minor changes in water pressure. People who are on the Waimea supply  will notice that the chlorine taste has disappeared. We will be contacting a number of key water users if they are affected by a particular part of  the process.

Detail about the current supply

The current network is made up of two separate supplies.  The Waimea supply is taken from shallow wells close to the Waimea River and is currently treated at the Waimea Water Treatment Plant on Lower Queen Street. This water is supplied to Mapua, industries on Lower Queen Street, the Champion Road Reservoir, parts of Stoke and some residential areas in  the north-east of Richmond. The Richmond supply takes  water from deeper bores opposite Nelson Pine and supplies  the remaining residential areas in Richmond as far as Three Brothers Corner.

The blended water will supply both Champion Road and Queen Street Reservoirs as well as all the residential and existing industrial users in Richmond. Water supplied to Mapua from the Waimea Water Treatment Plant is not affected by the new treatment plant and remain chlorinated.

Water quality monitoring

Throughout the commissioning work, all water will be UV treated before it leaves the plant to ensure it is safe to drink. In the event of an emergency, a backup chlorination system will be employed to ensure security of supply.

Important note:

There will be no chlorine residue in the town supply from  mid-February 2015. If people or businesses rely on chlorinated water for any commercial activities, arrangements will need to be made to privately chlorinate the water as it enters the commercial premises.

Key dates

30 January 2015 – 5 February 2015

Testing of new pumps and UV treatment of Richmond water supply only.

12 – 13 February 2015

Waimea supply users no longer receive chlorinated water.

16 February onwards

Blending of Richmond and Waimea supply starts.

13 March 2015 – 2 April 2015

Physical works which may require some traffic management such as removing old fittings from the prior system that are redundant. Customers directly affected will be contacted by Hawkins, the contractor.

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Message from the Mayor

This year is going to be one of our most challenging but it will also see a number of positive changes around Council and to its finances.

This is the year when we complete the 3-yearly review of our Long Term Plan. Our approach this time focuses on responding to ratepayers’ concerns about our reliance on debt and the need to ensure rates remain affordable. We have taken a prudent approach to our planning and cut costs and projects that are not deemed essential. I think ratepayers will be pleased with the result.

We still have to deal with the most challenging and important project we will consider as a Council – augmenting the flow in the Waimea River and ensuring we have a reliable supply of water during droughts. The scheme will need to provide the most cost-effective way to provide the environmental flows in the river; increase the security of supply for essential irrigation and meet the needs of the Richmond, Brightwater, Redwood Valley and Mapua communities whether they are residential, commercial or industrial users.

In response to many submissions received last year Council has decided that the project’s scope needs to be reviewed. Council funding for the scheme is proposed to meet the cost of providing for the urban water supply needs and a potion of the environmental flows. External funding to support the cost to irrigators is needed before proceeding with the project. How to fund an augmentation scheme will be a key element in our consultation with you all during the Long Term Plan process.

While significant, the proposed dam is not the only project we are considering at the moment. The other work planned for the District will be consulted on through a new process introduced when the Local Government Act was amended last year. In previous years we have produced a draft LTP for public consultation. This year we will be producing a Consultation Document, as the law refers to it. This document is required to discuss the key issues and opportunities facing the Council and the District that we are looking for feedback on. The focus and form is quite different from the previous Draft Long Term Plan – more high level – but no less significant.

I look forward to introducing and presenting the changes over the next few months as we move through the major consultation and decision-making processes that will make up the Long Term Plan 2015-2025.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne

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The Long Term Plan Process is Different this Year

Over the next few months the Council is seeking feedback on the Long Term Plan for 2015-2025 from ratepayers and residents. The 10 year plan is reviewed every three years, however what is going to be different is the material sent to residents to aid this discussion.

The Long Term Plan (LTP) will be produced as required under the Local Government Act. The LTP states the vision for the District, the Community Outcomes, the services and activities the Council will provide contributing to the achievement of those outcomes and the likely costs of providing the services and activities over the next 10 years.

There will, however, be no Draft LTP as in previous years. Legislation introduced last year now requires Councils to only produce a Consultation Document. While much smaller than a draft LTP, the Consultation Document is intended to be a more concise tool to inform people about the key issues the Council needs to deal with and the options, implications and consequences of each, which must be taken into account within the long term planning process. Its purpose is to enable input into the key decisions that will need to be made by the Council.

Several other documents support the Council’s decision-making on the LTP – the Financial Strategy, the 30 year Infrastructure Strategy and the Activity Management Plans for all of the Council provided activities and services. All of these documents will be available via the Council’s website or at any of the Council’s libraries and service centres.

In addition to the Consultation Document discussing the key issues facing the Council, there will be two additional pieces of work the Council is seeking feedback on to aid the delivery of infrastructure and services – the Development Contribution Policy and the Schedule of Fees and Charges. While these pieces of work primarily inform the Council’s ability to manage growth and provide services they are important contributors to the way the Council manages  its revenue.

The consultation document will be available to Tasman residents in the first few weeks of March 2015. This document will be supported by a number of public meetings throughout the District enabling those with an interest to contribute the ability to discuss further the issues and options with Councillors and staff prior to submissions closing on 20 April 2015.

Further information will be made available from now until the close of submissions.

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Flush your Taps

Research carried out by the Institute of Environmental Science and the Ministry of Health has shown that some New Zealand water supplies contain minute traces of lead that are near to or exceed the maximum acceptable level specified in the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards. Traces of metals – in particular lead – are of concern because over time they pose a potential health risk, especially if consumed from childhood.

It is important to note that the lead is not coming from the water supplies themselves, but primarily from metals in some household fittings that may be dissolved into the water. The amount of lead that will dissolve from a fitting depends on how plumbosolvent* the water is; the temperature of the water; the composition of the plumbing fittings and how long the water has been in contact with it.

The fact that most New Zealand waters are of very good quality and contain little dissolved substances such as calcium and magnesium salts contributes to their plumbosolvency, which is widespread in New Zealand. The Ministry of Health therefore recommends that people do not drink the first mugful of water if their tap has not been used for several hours overnight, for instance.

Instead, people should run the tap for a second or so, which will quickly flush-away any water that has become contaminated with lead or any other metals from the plumbing fittings. The Ministry of Health works closely with Standards New Zealand and the plumbing industry to develop quality standards for plumbing fittings.

Additional details on this issue can be sourced from the Ministry of Health website – www.moh.govt.nz. Part of the treatment process at the Richmond Water Treatment Plant (see page one) will be pH adjustment, which will substantially reduce the issue for plumbosolvency for users of that supply.

  • plumbosolvent = The types of water that have the ability to dissolve lead (usually soft waters) are known as ‘plumbosolvent’ (from the Latin word plumbum).

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Tips to Keep your Wastewater System Working Well

Outside of the main urban areas and some residential subdivisions, most properties in the Tasman District have  their own on-site wastewater system.

There are a variety of wastewater systems used in the District, many simple in design, some complex, but they all consist of two main components:

  • a tank, where all of the household wastewater (from the kitchen, toilet, bathroom and laundry) is collected and treated to some extent; and
  • a buried disposal field, which distributes the wastewater from  the tank into the ground.

Inside a simple septic tank, solids sink to the bottom and fats and grease float to the top, while the liquid middle layer flows through to the disposal field. ‘Good’ bacteria within the tank digest and breakdown the wastewater, but the wastewater needs to remain in the tank for a period of time to allow for this to happen effectively. Over time the top and bottom layers build up, and need to be cleaned out to restore the capacity and function of the tank and to prevent the solids, fats and grease from being flushed through into the disposal field where it could cause the field to block and fail. The rate at which these top and bottom layers build up depends on the number of people in the house and the amount of solids, fats and grease entering the tank. Once discharged into the disposal field, microbes  in the soil may further treat the wastewater.

Regardless of the type of on-site wastewater system used, it is important that it is regularly checked and maintained to prevent  it from failing.

What’s the big deal if my wastewater system fails?

Household wastewater contains a number of “nasties”, including disease-causing bacteria and viruses, as well as the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus. A failing septic tank or disposal field can create a serious health risk to people and animals and degrade the environment: people and animals may be directly exposed to the nasties in the wastewater; the wastewater might contaminate drinking water or bathing water; nutrients in wastewater could enter waterways causing excessive plant growth, affecting the entire ecosystem of the waterway; there could be visual impacts from exposed sewage; infestation of insects and vermin attracted to the wastewater; and then there is the smell…

Failing wastewater systems can be expensive to repair or replace. Poor maintenance is often the cause for system failure, so it pays  to have it regularly serviced.

A failing wastewater system would likely lower your property value and could affect your ability to sell your property.

How would I know if my wastewater system is failing?

  • There is an unpleasant smell coming from the tank or disposal  field area;
  • The land where the disposal field is located has become wet  or soggy, or wastewater is ponding on the ground surface;
  • Your sinks or toilet drain slowly.

What can I do to prevent my wastewater system from failing?

  • Have your system serviced regularly (ideally, every six months);
  • Have the solids, fats and grease cleaned out of your tank periodically (the frequency will vary between households,  but may be necessary every 1-5 years);
  • Keep the ‘good’ bacteria in your tank alive: don’t release disinfectants, pesticides, herbicides, caustic drain cleaners, medicines, or petroleum products (such as motor oil, paint, paint thinner, petrol and solvents) into your septic tank, or use laundry bleaches, whiteners, nappy soakers, dishwasher detergents and stain removers sparingly.
  • Do use biodegradable detergents and low phosphorus detergents;
  • Whichever detergents you do use, use only the recommended quantities;
  • Reduce the amount of solids, fats and grease going into your septic tank:
    • Scrape scraps of food and fats from dishes before washing them;
    • Compost food scraps rather than using an ‘insinkerator’;
    • Put coffee grounds and tea leaves in the rubbish or compost;
    • Shake all the sand and dirt from clothes before washing them;
    • Don’t flush sanitary pads, tampons, disposable nappies, cotton buds, dental floss or condoms (…Barbie doll heads, smurfs…) down the dunny – they will accumulate in the tank and have  to be cleaned out, and could also block any filters or pumps  in your tank;
  • Lots of liquid passing through your wastewater system can reduce the level of treatment it receives in the tank and make the disposal area boggy and smelly. Reduce the volume of liquid entering the system by:
    • Installing water reducing fixtures such as dual flush toilets and  low flow showerheads;
    • Having a shower instead of a bath;
    • Fixing leaking taps;
    • Not using the washing machine or dishwasher until you have  a full load;
    • Not doing multiple loads of washing in quick succession;
    • Not letting rain or stormwater enter your wastewater system.

What should I do if my wastewater system is currently failing?

Action must be taken to fix the failure immediately. Consult the Yellow Pages for service providers (‘Septic Tank Services’, ‘Sewage Treatment’, ‘Plumbers’, ‘Drainlayers’).

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Feedback Sought – Rural Land Use and Subdivision Policy Review

In recent months, the Council has been preparing changes to rural land use and subdivision provisions in its Tasman Resource Management Plan. Feedback on a Draft Plan Change is now being sought from residents.

The proposed changes could provide opportunities for rural housing and subdivision with specific opportunities for rural commercial activities, cooperative living and rural-residential development. The new ideas have been developed from an earlier period of consultation on issues and options and Council workshops on the feedback received.

The Council is now seeking public input into the Draft Plan Change until the end of March 2015.

Public evening meetings have been organised to enable community discussion on the proposed changes

  • 17 February 2015, 5.00 pm – 9.00 pm, Wakefield – Wakefield Fire Station
  • 19 February 2015, 5.00 pm – 9.00 pm, Takaka – Takaka Bowling Club
  • 24 February 2015, 5.00 pm – 9.00 pm, Motueka – Motueka Hall supper room.

These sessions are open to the public, with staff and Councillors attending to discuss the proposed changes. A presentation with  a question and answer session will run each evening from 6.30 pm.

To find out more and see a copy of the draft Plan Change you can go  to the Council’s website or view at the Council’s Service Centres.

For more information about the rural review and the Draft Plan Change contact:

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Newsline Updates

Public Notices

Reserve Land Change of Classification

The Tasman District Council needs to classify as “Local Purpose (Community Buildings) Reserve” the land occupied by the currently disused Council Service Centre at 78 Commercial Street, Takaka.

In 1921 the reserve land was changed from land held for Telegraph Purposes to a “Site for a Public Hall”. Later in 1921, the reserve was vested in the Takaka County Council.

Section 16 of the Reserves Act 1977 requires reserves to be classified according to their “principal or primary purpose”. As classification has not yet occurred, and given the present purpose of “site for a Public Hall” is neither the present or intended use, the Tasman District Council is proposing to classify the reserve as a “Local Purpose (Community Buildings) Reserve”. The classification will more accurately reflect the former use as the Council Service Centre and its future use, given the current plans to re-open the building again as the Golden Bay Service Centre after the planned earthquake strengthening.

For enquiries, please contact Robert Cant at Tasman District Council, email: robert.cant@tasman.govt.nz, Ph. 03 543 8585. A copy of this notice, together with a plan, will be available on the Council’s website (www.tasman.govt.nz) and at the current Service Centre at 14 Junction Street, Takaka.

Submissions or objections on the proposed classification changes should be made in writing, and must be received no later than 4.00 pm on Thursday 26 February 2015. Please state whether or not you will wish  to be heard at any hearing.

River Spraying Notification

Tasman District Council’s Engineering Services Department gives notice of the intention to undertake regular ground based river spraying operations from November 2014 to April 2015 inclusive.

The spraying will be focused (but may include other waterways) on the fully funded sections of rivers/waterways within the Tasman District which includes the Waimea/Wairoa, Wai-iti, Redwood & Eves Valley Streams, Moutere River and company ditches, Pawley Creek, Upper Motueka, Motupiko, Sherry and Tadmor Rivers, Dove, Lower Motueka, Riwaka mainstem and delta waterways, Takaka, Waingaro, Anatoki, Aorere and Kaituna Rivers. The main purpose is to control woody weedgrowth on the fairways that could impede or divert flood flows, with herbicide application to control pest plants within waterway management corridors to also be undertaken. For any objections, queries or comments on the operation please contact Giles Griffith, Rivers and Coastal Engineer,  Ph. 03 543 8400 or Email: giles.griffith@tasman.govt.nz

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Community Notices

The Upper Moutere Sarau Festival – 1 February 2015

  • Guest blackcurrant chef Steve Richards from Award winning café Jester House
  • Blackcurrant Bake-off
  • Photographic competition
  • Moutere Artisans
  • Blackcurrant health information
  • Moutere History
  • Grown in the Moutere
  • Food, beer and wine, music  and entertainment
  • Monster book sale
  • NBS Kids Adventure Zone
  • Masses of stalls and activities
  • Loads to do and see!

Keep up with all the exciting festival news and competition details on www.saraufestival.co.nz – we can’t fit it all in here.

Do you have a great community arts project that needs some money to make it happen?

Tasman District Council’s Creative Communities Scheme has money to help groups and individuals running arts projects in the Tasman District.

Creative Communities provides funding to support community involvement in the arts, whether that’s music, theatre, festivals, mural painting, outdoor sculptures, art in public spaces, kapa haka, singing,  art workshops or something else.

Funded by Creative New Zealand, the Council’s Creative Communities Scheme is designed to support opportunities for communities, urban or rural, to have a go at art whether it’s for hobby or to develop a career, said fund co-ordinator Mike Tasman Jones. “We’re looking for art projects with broad community involvement, involve young people or projects that support the diverse arts and cultural traditions of local communities.”

The Tasman Creative Communities Scheme funding in 2014 enabled theatre groups like “Body and Space” to workshop “The Map” with local Golden Bay performers aged 13 to adults before the community performance.  The Embroiders Guild were able to host a weekend of workshops for beginners to “old hands”, budding authors were able to attend a “Breaking into Print” workshop, 50 members of the Mapua community were able to roll up their sleeves, mix up the grout and mosaic one wall of the public toilets and 500 Richmond residents watched a large cast of locals at the outdoor summer theatre in Washbourn Gardens.

The Creative Communities Scheme funding, alongside a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm from the applicants, is what enabled these opportunities and many others to take place.

If you have a great community arts project needing some dollars to make it happen the Tasman Creative Communities Scheme maybe just what you’re looking for. There are three rounds of applications per year.  The next round closes on 10 March 2015, for projects starting after 1 April, the next rounds later in 2015 close 10 July and 10 November.

There is $39,007.80 allocated per annum with allocations averaging $1,000.

For application forms go to www.tasman.govt.nz and search ‘creative communities’ or contact Mike Tasman-Jones on Ph. 03 543 8400 for further information.

Roading

Proposed Closure of Road to Ordinary Vehicular Traffic

In accordance with the Transport (Vehicle Road Closure) Regulations 1965, the public is advised that for the purpose of allowing the Nelson Drag Racing Association to hold a drag racing event, the following road is proposed to be closed to ordinary vehicles for the period and time indicated below.

Any person objecting to the proposal should lodge notice of their objection before Friday 23 January 2015 to the office of the Tasman District Council, 189 Queen Street, Richmond.

Proposed Road to be closed to Ordinary Vehicles and Period of Closure

Queen Victoria Street, Motueka from King Edward Street to Green Lane

Saturday 31 January 2015, 7.30 am to 5.00 pm.

If the weather is inclement, the event will be held on Sunday 1 February 2015.

Speed Limit Bylaw Review

At its meeting on Thursday 30 October 2014 the Tasman District Council adopted amendments to the Consolidated Bylaw Chapter 4 – Speed Limit Bylaw 2013. The bylaw came into effect on 1 January 2015. Copies of the bylaw and the amendments and the associated maps can be viewed on the Council’s website – www.tasman.govt.nz or viewed at any Council office, library or service centre.

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Stop the Startle - Shared Pathways Users Tips

Our region has several shared pathways designed to provide people who are walking and cycling with a safe, motor vehicle-free environment. People have reported they are sometimes startled by other users when using shared pathways. Here are some ways you can help “Stop the Startle”.

Keep left

Keep to the left of the path at all times whether you are walking, running, cycling, scooting or skating. When passing others let them know you’re there, give them a wide berth, ensure you have enough space to complete the pass and return to the left.

Control your dog

Owners, please keep your dog under control around other people (or dogs).

Move off the path when you stop

If you meet a friend on your journey, or want to stop to enjoy the view or have a breather, please move off the path.

Control your speed

Ensure that other people’s safety is never  compromised by the speed you are travelling.  Cyclists who want/need to go fast are advised to ride on the road. Electric mobility scooter drivers should keep their speed moderate and alert pedestrians as they approach.

Warn when approaching – be considerate

Be seen – ‘leave your invisibility cloak at home’.  It is essential that faster moving path users, such  as cyclists and rollerbladers, warn pedestrians before overtaking them.  Calling out “hello” or “passing” or ringing a bell will alert slower path users they are about to be  overtaken. Being startled by faster path users is one of the key issues affecting people’s enjoyment of our shared paths.

Don’t block the pathways – they are not car parks

Drivers are asked not to park on pathways.  Having to go round a parked car can create a hazard and, of course, path parkers can be fined or towed.

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