Darfield and Kirwee are two of the largest un-sewered communities in New Zealand. Community and Public Health have previously identified a concern that discharge of onsite treated wastewater to ground may pose a public health risk.

In the 2017/18 Annual Plan the Council signaled that a joint working party involving representatives from the Council, the Malvern Community Board, the Darfield and Kirwee Township Committees, Canterbury District Health Board and Environment Canterbury would further consider options for the possible establishment of a wastewater scheme for Darfield and Kirwee, which do not currently have a reticulated wastewater system.

The working party has previously indicated that, based on the available evidence, the existing system of onsite wastewater treatment systems is not currently having a detrimental effect on the environment. However, the establishment of a reticulated scheme is an option for consideration as it may enable future commercial and industrial development and more intensive residential development in the area.

Over the first three years of this 2018-28 Long-Term Plan, further work will be undertaken by the Council, the working group and technical experts, to gather more information and undertake targeted consultation with the community. Information gathered over this time on the costs, benefits and practical matters will help to inform any decision on wastewater system options and funding, which would then be consulted on through a future Long-Term Plan process.

The Council undertook a business case for the scheme, including consultation with Darfield and Kirwee residents in 2019. Following this the Council voted in February 2020 to progress work on a wastewater scheme for Darfield and Kirwee.

The Council agreed that there was sufficient evidence to support planning for a wastewater scheme in central Darfield. It asked staff to include further consultation on a possible system for central Darfield and developments in the township as part of the consultation for the 2020/21 Annual Plan. The Council confirmed it would continue to seek cost effective and environmentally sound solutions for both the Darfield and Kirwee communities.

The following documents have been previously commissioned and are available for download.