The WATSAN Unit of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Planning previously asked homeowners in the area to contact them by April 30 to join a scheme to upgrade household sanitation systems at a subsidised rate.
As that deadline has passed, WATSAN staff are delivering letters to the 17 homeowners who did not join the scheme before properties are inspected by Public Health, offering a final chance to sign up. As old sanitation systems are an environmental concern for the lagoon, homeowners who are found to have non-compliant systems will face paying for the entire upgrade themselves, or may be fined or prosecuted.
The new systems cost between $10,000 and $20,000. Under WATSAN’s scheme that the majority of people in the area signed up to, the homeowner pays $1000 – which can be paid in monthly instalments. The rest of the money is provided by WATSAN through funding from New Zealand and Australia.
Property owners will not be able to join WATSAN’s assisted upgrade scheme once Public Health’s compliance process has begun for those households.
While WATSAN have previously hand-delivered letters to all households concerned, there are six homeowners who have not been located as they or their families are overseas.