- additional network assets;
- more and improved wastewater treatment capacity; and,
- much greater technical skills in order to reliably and cost-effectively manage an expanding demand on the wastewater network.
- retain Council ownership of the assets and control the level of service, making sure that we remain accountable to you and your community for reliably delivering the service;
- address the challenges and risks;
- achieve cost certainty; and,
- achieve reliable operations and service maintenance, through a whole of network management model and leveraging new technology wherever possible to extend the assets lives..
- enhanced but capped operating and maintenance costs to address ageing infrastructure, higher legislative compliance and lower capital spend all in one contract;
- increased costs for operating the Rotoiti/Rotomā sewerage scheme; and,
- increased cost for electricity nationwide.
- Ageing assets and the unknown amount of renewals that will be required to keep the service operating safely and reliably.
- Council not having the resources, knowledge and information to manage the introduction of new and additional assets that will be required for network development and reticulation expansion.
- Growth in our District; a growing population and business activities, demands more pipeline capacity, which comes at a cost.
- Our home having a unique geothermal environment, which has a significant corrosive effect on the assets compared with other regions. This requires greater and more frequent repairs and maintenance, as well as reducing the useful life of our assets.
HOW ARE WE GOING TO SUSTAINABLY MANAGE THIS?
The new model requires us to enter into a conglomerate with Trility who can provide network operations that are stable, reliable and safe.
To ensure your and your whanau’s prosperity, health, safety and our environment, we need to address the system-wide challenges facing our wastewater network. To achieve this we are proposing to provide wastewater services differently…
In order to achieve stable, reliable and safe operation of the network we need to have one contract. This contract is ultimately buying us a risk management plan and giving certainty to you as a ratepayer that in the face of a shock event you will not have to risk paying the cost.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF POORLY MAINTAINED WASTEWATER SERVICES?
Poorly maintained wastewater services are a public health risk.
Cities and towns across New Zealand have faced the consequences of poorly managed wastewater services, with evidence of untreated or partially treated water and frequent sewerage overflow events – this is something our communities will not and should not be prepared to risk.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF AGED ASSETS?
Our current wastewater service assets, such as pipes and pumps, are becoming more and more unreliable, with many of them reaching the end of their useful life.
Increased rainfall intensity and frequency, associated with climate change, means there is a significant risk of stormwater entering our wastewater network. This puts stress on the capacity of the network and also risks uncontrolled and untreated wastewater overflows into our fresh water and lakes.
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES GROWTH IN OUR DISTRICT CREATE FOR WASTEWATER SERVICES?
As our community grows our infrastructure networks need to grow with it; meeting the needs of all of our people. This requires:
WHAT ARE WE PROPOSING AS THE PREFERRED OPTION?
After an extensive review of how our wastewater services can best be delivered and safeguarded into the future, Rotorua Lakes Council is proposing that we enter into a single contract with a consortium named Trility for the provision of wastewater services across our District.
The single contract provides a win-win for our communities, as it addresses many of the known service challenges, whilst also maintaining and retaining full Council ownership of the assets, full Council control of funding for the service and decision making to ensure the highest level of service to our communities.
WHY IS THE PROPOSAL IMPORTANT?
We’ve listened to the changing expectations of our community, you have told us that you desire to be connected to a reliable and highly effective wastewater system, one that also meets environmental standards and effectively addresses cultural impact concerns.
Challenges to the delivery of wastewater services are of national concern. That is why Rotorua is proposing to lead the way with a new model.
HOW DOES THE PROPOSAL ADDRESS RISKS AND CHALLENGES FACING THE OPERATIONS OF OUR WASTEWATER SERVICES?
Quality freshwater is an important factor in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our communities. This proposal increases the standards for freshwater quality and protecting the environment.
The proposal provides access to the most effective management; Trility is able to use new pipeline rehabilitation technologies and carefully constructed hydraulic modelling to guide targeted stormwater control interventions, which minimises the chance for stormwater entering.
Trility has the experience, knowledge, depth and breadth of skills to apply more reliable and systematic risk management. This proposal transfers the majority of risk over to Trility to manage, including all of operating costs, the financial risk associated with not meeting relevant regulations and legislative requirements and all of the networks performance risk, maintenance and renewals planning.
HOW WILL THE PROPOSAL BETTER OUR COMMUNITIES?
Protecting and ensuring the health and wellbeing of our Rotorua communities is at the heart of Rotorua Lakes Council’s decision making. Therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure your continued access to the freshest water possible.
Council has identified a number of reasons for this proposal. The proposal is an opportunity for us to achieve goals and objectives that the current service delivery method does not and cannot provide. The proposal makes it possible to:
WHAT IS THE COST?
If this proposal is adopted your 2020/21 targeted wastewater rate will increase to a total of $566 ($10.88 per week), this is a $100 ($1.92 per week) increase from the current 2019/20 year rate of $467 ($8.89 per week). The increased cost is driven by:
WHY ARE THE CURRENT COST RISKS UNSUSTAINABLE?
Our current wastewater services delivery method provides no certainty on the annual operating costs of the service, neither does it offer an ability to control the future cost of operation. This is a significant concern for the Council, as it is not a sustainable service method in the long-term.
The significant level of cost uncertainty is driven by:
WHAT ARE TRILITY'S OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE CONTRACT?
Trility will operate, maintain and renew the current wastewater networks, facilities and treatment plants to meet all performance indicators according to current consents, Council policies and relevant regulations. The contract provides remedies to be applied for breaches in not meeting these requirements.
Trility will provide all of the required human and material resources to manage the network operations at a set fee for ten years. This includes access to leading international expert advice and technologies.
HOW DOES THE CONTRACT REFLECT OUR TE ARAWA COMMITMENT?
Trility has committed to a unique collaboration with iwi, through a Memorandum of Understanding with Te Arawa Collective. This collaboration includes joint operational participation, skills training opportunities for young Māori, and community, environmental and cultural education programmes.
WHO IS TRILITY?
The proposed contractor, Trility, is a global employer, which allows the Council to tap into a network of world-class experts with resilient and competent skills, as well as up-to-date technical advice. Council is proposing to partner with Trility through one consolidated contract in an operational partnership approach.
HOW ARE OUR WASTEWATER SERVICES CURRENTLY DELIVERED?
Wastewater services are currently delivered through a number of different external contracts, which are managed in-house.
The current delivery method has additional risks as more than half of the Council’s in-house operations staff are reaching retirement age. Replacing and retaining skilled staff is not straight forward. This is a complex sector with high demand for limited individuals who have the knowledge and training to perform such roles.