OSET Plan system upgrade deadlines extended
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 10:30 a.m.
Septic tank system upgrade deadlines have been extended in the Rotorua Lakes area as part of changes to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s On-site Effluent Treatment Plan.
The OSET Plan deals with the effects of domestic wastewater discharge on water quality in the Bay of Plenty. The OSET Plan sets out policies and rules around how domestic wastewater can be suitably disposed of on a property and manages the effects of the wastewater on the water quality of our lakes, rivers and harbours.
The OSET Plan Change 2 (Maintenance Zones) means that residents in the Lake Rotoiti, Rotomā and Rotoehu catchments now have until 1 December 2016 to upgrade their septic tanks to an approved Aerated Wastewater Treatment System with Nutrient Removal (AWTS + NR) or obtain a resource consent and pay a financial contribution to offset the nutrients going into the lake. Previously, this deadline was 1 December 2013.
Under the OSET Plan changes, property owners in the Lake Tarawera maintenance zone need to continue maintaining their current system and now need to upgrade their system by 1 December 2017 or obtain a resource consent and pay a financial contribution to offset the nutrients going into the lake. Mamaku residents now have until 1 December 2018 to do the same.
Rotorua District Council sought the extension of the dates for these areas to align with its future community reticulation and Annual Plan timeframes.
Properties less than two hectares and within the catchment of lakes Rotorua, Ōkāreka, Ōkaro, and within 200m of lakes Rotokawau, Ōkataina and Rerewhakaaitu must upgrade or obtain a resource consent and pay a financial contribution by 1 December 2014. Previously this was to be done by
1 December 2013.
Other key decisions include: Matatā has been changed to a Confirmed Reticulation Zone as opposed to a new maintenance zone to reflect Whakatāne District Council’s planned reticulation of the township.
Ongare Point will be retained as a maintenance zone; residents must continue with regular septic tank maintenance and upgrade to an AWTS by 1 December 2015. Tanners Point and Bryan’s Beach (Ōpōtiki) remain as maintenance zones.
A maintenance zone is where the Regional Council has assessed there to be a higher risk to the environment and community health from poor performing OSET systems.
Councillors confirmed resource consents for OSET discharges will be generally set for 10 years, and agreed that the cost of the financial contribution will be relative to how much it costs to extract nitrogen from the Rotorua Lakes. The figure will be determined annually.
Proposed Plan Change 2 (Maintenance Zones) to the On-site Effluent Treatment Regional Plan was publicly notified on 27 November 2012. Following feedback and submissions, hearings were held on 13 and 14 June 2013, with deliberations on 24 and 26 June 2013. Thirty nine submissions were received. The people who made submissions have until 22 October 2013 to appeal.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council General Manager Strategy Fiona McTavish thanked the community for their submissions to the plan change.
“The feedback received through submissions and meetings also raised some valid matters that were beyond the scope of the plan change. These have been presented to the Regional Council for further discussion and research, ahead of a full review of the plan in 2016.”
The updated OSET Plan is available on the Regional Council’s website.