The $27 million East Clive sewerage plant will open its doors to the public tomorrow as work begins on reapplying for its consent to discharge treated wastewater into Hawke's Bay.
The open day is being run by the plant's owner, Hastings District Council, in an attempt to get the public involved in its work applying to the Hawke's Bay Regional Council for a new consent. The current one expires on March 2014.
Hastings council already had 11 groups looking to have a say in the consent work, such as Hawke's Bay Public Health Unit, Forest and Bird Society, Sustaining Hawke's Bay and McCain Foods to name a few.
The resource consent required the council to undertake 24 major tasks. Scientific assessments were underway, including public health risk reports and nutrient and chemical analysis.
The council's tangata whenua wastewater joint committee will meet today to review work on the resource consent.
Wastewater manager David James, in his report to the committee, said the plant at East Clive was "operating well".
"There have been no major issues experienced through the recent food processing season which sees the industrial flows through the milliscreens increase significantly."
He said there were two occasions where the influent quality had "for short periods", affected the plant's biological process used to break down wastewater.
The plant was granted a consent to release contaminants into the air on June 22.
The plant's two bio trickling filter tanks were initially built without any lids but the odour which carried over into the nearby residential community generated a number of complaints.
One of those who signalled there was a problem was John Robertson, who with his wife, operated a nearby bed and breakfast business.
Mr Robertson said the smell had disappeared since the lids were put on the two tanks.
"What we got out of our meetings with the council is that they have agreed to form a group and meet with local residents once a year to keep us informed."
He was also keen to have a say in the council's application for a consent to discharge to the sea.
"I think the council has learnt its lesson and is going public a lot more with these things. They're letting people know how the plant works and I'll be going to the open day this weekends as well."
Open days with the public would also be held on September 5 and November 17.