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Major challenges for waste water improvement

A new report has confirmed that many small communities will be faced with major financial challenges in order to meet new regulatory requirements to improve the quality of wastewater discharges.

The GHD/Boffa-Miskell report, commissioned by the Department of Internal Affairs as part of their three waters reforms, says the cost to local authorities could be between $1.4-billion and $2.1-billion – up to four times the estimated cost of fixing New Zealand’s drinking water system.

The report says the average cost of upgrading wastewater treatment plants across New Zealand would be $1,138 per household over 25 years. But for people who live in communities of five hundred or fewer people, the cost would balloon to $3,576 per household.

Eighty-two percent of the waste water treatment plants that require upgrading are servicing communities of 500 or fewer people.

Read the report