PROJECT UPDATE
Why are we doing this?
The East Rotoiti/Rotoma  Sewerage Scheme aims to protect the health of the waterways and provide an essential service to the community. Development of the scheme aligns with the ambition of the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme, to protect and restore the water quality of 12 Rotorua lakes so that they can be used and enjoy by the public today and in future.  
The programme is a collaborative effort by Rotorua Lakes Council, Te Arawa Lakes Trust and Bay of Plenty Regional Council, with funding from the Ministry for the Environment, to work together to fulfill a long term goal.
What is proposed?
Council committed in the 2017/18 Annual Plan to a reticulated sewerage scheme for East Rotoiti/Rotomā following engagement with the community during the past few years and with significant support from the community to proceed with the scheme.
There are about 700 properties in the proposed service area for this scheme, which will replace current septic tanks.
Properties will connect to a stand-alone wastewater treatment plant which will treat wastewater to a very high standard before it is discharged to land.
Council has taken the advice of the Rotoiti/Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee and a dedicated Cultural Impact Team in picking a preferred sewerage scheme option.
The sewerage scheme aims to provide the community with an essential service to responsibly dispose of human waste in a way that is environmentally and culturally appropriate.  The scheme includes establishing a Wastewater Treatment Plant, behind the Rotoiti Emery Store, and laying a reticulation network from the plant to cater for homes in Rotomā and east Rotoiti.
The overall goal will mean:
○  Rotomā properties will initially be connected to the reticulation network via an on-site Septic Tank Effluent Pumping (STEP) system.
○  An on-site wastewater pre-treatment system will be installed at properties in east Rotoiti, which will later be connected to the reticulation network which runs to the Wastewater Treatment Plant behind the Emery Store at Rotoiti.
○  Rotorua Lakes Council supports a full wastewater reticulation and treatment scheme that serves all Lake Rotoehu properties including Kennedy Bay and Ōtautū in future.  This will be dependent on securing funding.
FUNDING
​​​​​​​The estimated cost of the scheme is $35.3 million.
Breakdown:
○  Rotomā (STEP/ Piping/ Pumps):  $8.9m
○  Rotoiti (On-site systems/ Piping/ Pumps):  $18.2m
○  Wastewater Treatment Plant:  $8.2m
    Total overall scheme:  $35.3m
*These costs are indicative only and will be confirmed during design and the tendering process
The estimated contribution for homeowners, thanks to a loan sought by Council, is $9.42m. 
Breakdown cost: 
○  Homeowners will have two options available to pay for the scheme:
○  A one-off payment of $14,100 (gst incl)
○  An annual payment of $1,080 over 25 years (gst incl)
○  The annual operating charges are yet to be finalised (These will apply only once connection has been made to the new system) 
faqs
​​​​​​​How has the preferred scheme been selected? 
Finding a preferred option has taken some ten years of work. Council acknowledges the leadership of the Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee, which has worked tirelessly to identify preferred options, which have led to the development of the scheme.   The community-led committee was established in 2014 after the Council's 2012 resource consent application for its chosen scheme, at the time, failed in by the Environment Court.  As a result, Council made a fresh start, working closely with iwi, community groups and the Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee. 
What is the Rotoiti/Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee? 
It is a community committee that was set up in 2014 to explore options for an East Rotoiti | Rotomā Sewerage Scheme for its hapori (community). 
How did the Rotoiti/Rotomā Sewerage Steering Committee pick a preferred option? 
The preferred option was developed over several months with technical, social and cultural input.
The committee ensured a preferred option needed to be based on factors such as cultural preference, resilience in the event of earthquakes and technical requirements.
What involvement has the Cultural Impact Team had in the scheme? 
It provides specialist knowledge and implements cultural impact assessments for the scheme and the Haumingi 9B 3B Incorporation.  The team ensures that cultural concerns are considered and appropriately mitigated in the Council's planning, design and construction of the East Rotoiti Rotomā Sewerage Scheme. The team also helps Council to meet with iwi and Māori entities, with ties to the scheme, to address matters that arise.
How much will homeowners contribute to the scheme? 
The estimated contribution for homeowners, thanks to a loan sought by Council, is $9.42.  
Breakdown cost: 
Homeowners will have two option available to pay for the scheme:
○  A one-off payment of $14,100 (gst incl)
○  An annual payment of $1,080 over 25 years (gst incl)
The annual operating charges are yet to be finalised (These will apply only once connection has been made to the new system)
Where will the Wastewater Treatment Plant be built? 
The plant is being built on land owned by Haumingi 9B 3B Incorporation, behind the Rotoiti Emery Store (1434 State Highway 30, Rotorua).  A designated area near the plant site will be used as the underground infiltration release point for the treated water.
How will the Wastewater Treatment Plant work? 
Wastewater undergoes a three stage bioreactor process, which removes organic material and nitrogen.  The phosphorous in the water is removed through chemical treatment before it goes out to the treated wastewater release point.  The plant emulates the natural biological process of digesting waste and aims to reduce the impact of the environment.   
What is a STEP system? 
STEP stands for Septic Tank Effluent Pumping system.  It is an on-site wastewater pre-treatment system.
How does the STEP system work? 
The STEP system comprises of a septic tank with a pump.  It pre-treats wastewater, which is then pumped to a central piping network and on to a treatment plant.  The outflow is highly treated at the treatment plant before it is released on to land.
Do you have a concern about the STEP system? 
Get in touch with Council on 07 348 4199 and ask the operator to put you through to Geoff Kitson.  Please let the operator know you'd like to talk to Geoff about the proposed site for the STEP system on your property.  Geoff may suggest coming to visit you to:
○  Work with you and ensure you're happy with an alternative location on your property for the STEP system
○  Give you an idea about how long it would take to install the new system and potential installation challenges that may arise
How long will it take to install the STEP system? 
Each property is different and will have its own unique advantages and challenges, which means we would need to come and visit you to ensure you're happy with where the system will be located and that we can give you a better idea of how long it will take to install it.  
To give you an idea:  
○  It usually takes about two days to install the STEP system
This includes:  
○  Decommissioning the existing septic tank (Depending on where it is on your property)
○  Connecting new system piping to your home
Please get in touch with Council on 348 4199 so we can organise with you for an engineer to visit you at home.  A home visit means they will be able to see what's needed and should provide clarity on the challenges and an opportunity for our engineer to give you a guide as to how long it will take to install the new STEP system on your property.
Who will be responsible for maintaining the STEP system? 
Maintenance of the STEP (Septic Tank Effluent Pumping) system will be carried out by Council.
What wastewater pre-treatment system will be installed in Rotoiti? 
The on-site wastewater pre-treatment system, Biolytix, has been trialed in Rotoiti.  A final decision on whether to adopt Biolytix to service homes in Rotoiti hasn't been made.  A request for tender process is being prepared to determine whether Biolytix or the alternative, Septic Tank Effluent Pumping (STEP) system, should be adopted for the community.  Council aims to find a supplier which will install the preferred pre-treatment system that runs it for 15 years.
Back to Top