A project to stop Gisborne mortuary wastewater from being discharged into the sea and rivers is expected to be completed next March.
Gisborne District Council agreed last February to separate mortuary wastewater from the city's wastewater network, which discharges treated wastewater to Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay - and raw sewage to city rivers in heavy rain.
The fact mortuary wastewater could end up in the sea and rivers had been deemed "abhorrent" by local iwi.
At yesterday's wastewater management committee, members endorsed the project that includes changing the council's trade waste bylaw so mortuary wastewater would become a banned substance.
It would mean the hospital and funeral homes would need to separate and store mortuary wastewater for the council to collect and transport to a proposed treatment facility at Taruheru Cemetery.
Councillors will be asked at their next full council meeting on 2 April to approve unbudgeted spending on the project - $55,000 up until 30 June and $212,500 in the 2020/21 financial year.
The cost to run the mortuary wastewater scheme is estimated to be $100,000 per annum.
However, a report to committee members notes Gisborne mortuary wastewater volumes are still being assessed and will have an influence on the treatment facility's final design and cost.
The report notes a "conservative" estimate of $250,000 to construct the facility at Taruheru Cemetery, with a septic tank for treatment and a mound system for through-earth disposal.
Following public consultation, the bylaw will be changed by the end of the year and the treatment facility will be built by March 2021, according to the project plan.
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