Darfield wastewater

02 April, 2020

Planning and building a new wastewater system

Over the past three years a joint working party representing the Council, Malvern Community Board, Darfield and Kirwee township committees, Canterbury District Health Board and Environment Canterbury has been considering options for the possible establishment of a wastewater scheme for Darfield and Kirwee, which do not currently have a reticulated wastewater system.

A business case assessment, which included public consultation, indicated that while a full township wastewater scheme was not warranted, there was evidence to support a scheme for central Darfield and for any new development within the township. There was feedback from the business community of the potential benefits for growth and for reducing onsite treatment costs. It would also allow smaller houses to be provided in Darfield to provide for our ageing population.

The Council has endorsed the business case recommendation, to progress further planning and consultation for a reticulated scheme for central Darfield and for new developments. The Council also confirmed it will continue to seek cost-effective and environmentally sound solutions for both Darfield and Kirwee.

What’s proposed?

Seeking community feedback on proposals for a reticulated wastewater scheme in central Darfield

We now want to find out more about the community’s views on the proposal to develop a reticulated wastewater scheme for central Darfield, and in particular their preferred method to pay for the scheme, for those who connect.

Any proposal to include a reticulated scheme in the Council’s budget would then be subject to full consultation through the Long-Term Plan 2021-2031, or through specific consultation on the project.

Through the business case process, a range of technical options have been identified for how the wastewater should be treated, where a treatment plant might be located, how the reticulation system would work, and disposal methods.

More work is still to be done on these options, to identify the most appropriate solutions, and we’ll consult further with the community on these through the LTP next year.

What are the options?

There are a range of funding options to pay for the initial construction of the scheme:

  • Local loan rate and/or lump sum payments
  • From existing property owners, contributions from future land developers, and rates paid by the wider Selwyn District
  • Other grants or subsidies
  • Other options such as a loan held against the future sale of a property

The funding will depend on a number of factors including the design of the scheme and an assessment of who benefits. Consumers would benefit from connection to a modern wastewater scheme, which would eliminate the need to upgrade current septic tank systems. There would also be longer- term environmental and public health risk benefits. A reticulated scheme would reduce the risk to business owners who rely on their wastewater system to function, and would also allow developers of new subdivisions to provide a higher standard of treatment.

Operating costs would be funded through annual rates.

It’s too early to know the likely costs of a future scheme, as this would depend on the technical details. However a 2017 study identified that the cost per household could be in the vicinity of $20,000 to $36,000 depending on specifics of the scheme configuration.

See image larger

Approximate area to be included in any proposed Central Darfield Scheme. Note: Scheme will also be extended to include future new subdivisions.


Your say: Let us know your views on the proposal to proceed with further consultation, planning and design for a reticulated wastewater scheme for central Darfield, including options for paying for the scheme. See the question on the online feedback form or submission form.

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