Minutes of a meeting of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit

Held in the Ruma Mārama, Level 2A, Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson

On Friday 11 December 2015, commencing at 1.00pm


Present:               Councillors M Higgins (Chairperson) and B Dowler (Tasman District Council), and Mr D Shaw (Nelson City Council representative)

In Attendance:     P Wilson (Industry Customers’ Representative), Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit Manager (R Kirby), Senior Asset Engineer – Solid Waste (J Thiart), Management Accountant (A Bishop), and Administration Adviser (S McLean)

Apologies:            Councillor R Copeland (Nelson City Council) and M Hippolite (Iwi Representative)





Resolved NRSBU/2015/012

THAT apologies be received and accepted from Councillor R Copeland and Mr M Hippolite.

Dowler/Shaw                                                                              Carried


1.       Confirmation of Order of Business

There was no change to the order of business

2.       Interests

There were no updates to the Interests Register, and no interests with items on the agenda were declared.

3.       Confirmation of Minutes

3.1       18 September 2015

Document number M1481, agenda pages 5 - 8 refer.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/013

THAT the minutes of the meeting of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit, held on 18 September 2015, be confirmed as a true and correct record.

Shaw/Dowler                                                                              Carried


4.       General Manager's Report

Document number R5189, agenda pages 9 - 35 refer.

Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit Manager, Richard Kirby, presented the report.

4.1       Bokashi Logic Proposal

There was discussion on the proposal from Bokashi Logic and the method proposed. It was highlighted that if this option was investigated then other potential providers would need to be investigated as well.

Senior Asset Engineer – Solid Waste, Johan Thiart, provided an update on the Bokashi Logic proposal, advising there was potential for an additional trial on a limited scale. He advised further information on this could be presented to the next Board meeting.

During discussion, concerns were raised about a full scale trial. It was pointed out the bacteria mix in a healthy pond should be stable once it was properly established, and would not require further feed stock. There was concern about the potential risk of bringing in a toxic substance to the ponds, so the source of the microorganisms would need to be carefully considered.

There was some support for further investigation on the matter and more detail on a small scale trial. It was agreed a workshop for officers would be held in the new year to fully discuss the proposal, potentially with a representative from Bokashi Logic available to take questions. It was suggested that Board members attend if they were interested, along with an MWH representative and someone in a peer review capacity.

During discussion it was noted that the NRSBU Business Plan 2016/17 included reference to new technology choices, and full analysis of these. It was further noted that the proposal could mean not having to desludge the ponds every 20 years, and also the postponement of upcoming desludging.

A further suggestion was made that a microbiologists view on the matter would be worth having.

Following discussion, it was agreed that the words ‘at this stage’ would be added to the end of the second clause of the officer recommendation.

4.2       Reticulated Wastewater

Mr Thiart advised that Nelson City Council was reviewing the possibility of reticulating treated wastewater from Bell Island to other users.

4.2       Business Plan 2016/17

It was noted that the date for the Business Plan Action item number 7 should show as Dec 2015. It was advised the review of contractor performance would be reported to the Board meeting in March 2016.

Mr Kirby advised that information on the improvement of power supply by Network Tasman would be presented to the Board meeting in March 2016. There was further discussion on this topic.

Mr Thiart advise the ATAD B-train was being prepared for new lining.

In response to a question, Mr Thiart said he would look into the proposed timeframe for the independent audit of the operation and maintenance manuals. He said he would look into the format and content of the Objectives and KPIs table in the Business Plan as there was currently a blank box.

Mr Kirby tabled amendments to the Business Plan tables on pages 8, 9, 18 and 19.

It was suggested that the table under section 8 of the Business Plan could be more clearly labelled as renewals, and the table under section 9 as upgrades.

4.3       Other Matters

Mr Kirby provided detail on an anonymous letter which had expressed health and safety concerns with Rabbit Island operations. He advised the concerns raised had been assessed and there were no issues to address.

There was a brief discussion on the state of roads at Bell Island. Mr Thiart advised the roads were in good condition and there was an annual $15,000 road maintenance budget.

Mr Thiart spoke further about sludge, biobags and an upcoming trial for desludging the ponds which would have minimal impact on the ATADs.

There was discussion on whether desludging the ponds was considered a capital upgrade. Management Accountant, Andrew Bishop, advised that the Tasman District Council accounting treatment for this was followed.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/014

THAT the report General Manager's Report (R5189) and its attachments Draft Business Plan 2016/17 (A1468715) and Status Report (A452094) be received;

AND THAT the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit not implement the trial proposed by Bokashi Logic at this stage.

Shaw/Dowler                                                                              Carried

Resolved NRSBU/2015/015

THAT the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit Draft Business Plan 2016-17 be adopted as amended.

Shaw/Dowler                                                                              Carried


1    A1477188 - Correction to pages in NRSBU Business Plan 2016/17  

5.       NRSBU Review of Alternative Biosolids Disposal Options

Document number R5197, agenda pages 36 - 39 refer.

NRSBU General Manager, Richard Kirby, presented the report.

There was discussion on the possibility of an additional pond at Bell Island, funding for which could be included in the next Long Term Plan.

There was discussion on using ATADS or biobags for sludge and the potential for odour issues and Mr Thiart outlined the holding pond process followed by several other councils. He spoke about the possibility of methane gas being emitted from the ponds during this process.

There was the discussion about what would occur if biosolids spraying on Rabbit Island could not proceed. It was suggested that Rabbit Island changes would be incremental, so biosolids spraying was likely to continue into the foreseeable future.

There was discussion on cost effective ways to treat solids, and whether there were other ways to increase the capacity of the area at Rabbit Island, such as using different tree crops or increasing the spraying amount. Mr Thiart said SCION could advise the NRSBU on the ability of different tree crops to use the nutrient applied through biosolids spraying.

He pointed out that recreation and spraying of biosolids activities at Rabbit Island were not all mutually exclusive.

There followed a discussion regarding the Reserve Management Plan for Rabbit Island and the proposed consultation rounds.

The Board agreed that a submission should be made to the Rabbit Island  Reserve Management Plan on behalf of the NRSBU. The Chairperson suggested consideration be given to including a proposal for biosolids spraying at Rough Island.

There was discussion on the concept of keeping the trees growing to 35 years to see if that would solve the problem of having softer logs.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/016

THAT the report NRSBU Review of Alternative Biosolids Disposal Options  (R5197) and its attachment (A1468738) be received;

AND THAT the NRSBU note that the current biosolids disposal practice at Bell Island is the most cost effective option;

AND THAT the NRSBU General Manager make a submission on the consultation document on the Rabbit Island Management Plan.

Shaw/Dowler                                                                              Carried


6.       NRSBU Risk Profile - Impacts of Contributor Exit

Document number R5204, agenda pages 40 - 42 refer.

There was discussion on the impact of a contributor exiting the NRSBU scheme. It was noted there would be both risks and opportunities in this event.

It was pointed out that the Business Risk Schedule table on page 40 of the agenda was missing several words, and Mr Kirby read out the full wording from the Asset Management Plan.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/017

THAT the report NRSBU Risk Profile - Impacts of Contributor Exit (R5204) be received.

Higgins/Shaw                                                                              Carried


7.       NRSBU Bell Island Wastewater Treatment Plant; Review of Automated Process Control and Influent Load Monitoring

Document number R5208, agenda pages 43 - 46 refer.

Richard Kirby and Johan Thiart presented the report.

There was agreement that the purchase should proceed, although it was emphasised that significant training and understanding was required to make the most of the output data. It was also highlighted there may be ongoing cost in maintaining and calibrating the unit.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/018

THAT the report NRSBU Bell Island Wastewater Treatment Plant; Review of Automated Process Control and Influent Load Monitoring (R5208) be received;

AND THAT an S::can unit be procured from DCM Process Control and installed at a cost not exceeding $95,000.

Dowler/Shaw                                                                              Carried

8.       Audited Financial Statements

Document number R5237, agenda pages 47 - 65 refer.

Management Accountant, Andrew Bishop, tabled and presented the financial statements.

Resolved NRSBU/2015/019

THAT the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit Financial Report (A1432009) be received.

Higgins/Dowler                                                                            Carried


1    A1432009 - NRSBU Financial Report to 31Oct2015




There being no further business the meeting ended at 3.02pm.


Confirmed as a correct record of proceedings:




                                                         Chairperson                                        Date