The days of Queenstown’s most crucial sewerage pump station are numbered following a series of “deficiencies” at the ageing facility.
The Frankton Beach waste water pump station – which deals with human waste from Queenstown, Fernhill, Sunshine Bay, Kelvin Heights and Arthurs Point – will be replaced with a new one next year.
The existing lakeside pump house gives off a bad smell and Frankton man Leon Calitz claims he’s even spotted “faecal matter” bubbling from a small plate in the ground.
“If that stuff seeps into the ground, it could make its way into the lake,” Calitz says, adding he’s complained to Queenstown Lakes District Council about the station “several times”.
QLDC waste water boss Gerry Essenberg says Calitz’s complaints haven’t been registered and he isn’t aware of any raw sewage overflowing on to land.
But he acknowledges the facility has “a lot of deficiencies”.
“It’s been a recognised short-coming of our infrastructure for quite a few years. We’ve had our money’s worth out of it.
“The pumps themselves don’t work as well as we’d like. If we want to access the pump we have to remove the generator and in an emergency that’s a long-winded process and it’s quite low – if the lake level came up it’s at risk of flooding with the lake.
“Twenty years ago it wasn’t a problem. It was designed for a lot lower standards and to take a lot less sewage.”
The new station, which will be built above the existing facility, is expected to cost $1.37 million, Essenberg says.
“It will be more modern, more efficient and more reliable.”