The grounds at Akaroa Golf Club could be irrigated using treated wastewater. (File photo)
Golfers could find themselves working extra hard to avoid the water hazards at their local course if a plan to use treated wastewater from a Canterbury seaside settlement for irrigation is approved.
Christchurch City Council is consulting the community on two ways to deal with wastewater from Duvauchelle on the Banks Peninsula as its current consent expires next year.
Treated wastewater from the settlement is currently discharged into Akaroa Harbor, a practice that is deeply offensive to Māori and considered “culturally repugnant” by Ngāi Tahu.
Under a proposal from the city council it could be used to irrigate the Akaroa Golf Course at Duvauchelle, and be sprayed onto tees, greens and fairways.
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The land is owned by the council and leased to the golf club, and is the only land area at the settlement big enough to receive the treated wastewater, the council said.
The council is seeking feedback on two multimillion dollar options.
One would see treated wastewater used to spray irrigate tees, greens and fairways in dry weather over the summer and drip irrigate the uphill areas of trees on the golf course and planted course margins in wet weather over the winter.
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That would require a major upgrade of the treatment plant, as well as new pipes and drainage at the golf course for the wastewater to meet the required standard for irrigation to a golf course, with an estimated cost of $13.1 million.
It was option preferred by staff as being a “true example of beneficial reuse of treated wastewater”, the council said.
The second option would be to drip irrigate the planted areas, course margins and uphill areas of trees on the property all year-round, at a lower cost of $8.2m, as it would require a lesser upgrade to the plant.
However, it would not use all the treated wastewater, needing another property to be bought or leased to irrigate native trees.
The area had been prone to water restrictions in recent summers due to high temperatures and high usage.
Council water boss Helen Beaumont said finding a land-based alternative to the harbor outfall – an upgrade to which was not considered – was crucial.
Staff and local groups had been spending more than a decade trying to find suitable options, Beaumont said.
“We identified and investigated 12 feasible options and gradually whittled those down to two that were acceptable to the council, the golf club, the working party and Ngāi Tahu.”
Consultation is open until 5pm on June 7.