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Wastewater Services

The Wastewater service is a core service of the Council and involves the collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater.

The Council provides and operates piped sewer networks and treatment plants for seven urban areas. It ensures that collection, treatment and disposal of wastewater complies with the Public Health Standards and specific resource consent conditions, particularly those requiring the minimising of adverse effects on the receiving environment.

The key reasons for providing a service for treatment and disposal of wastewater are; to protect public health, to mitigate the risks of pollution and disease associated with wastewater, and to protect the receiving environments from the effects of wastewater products and by-products.

In addition to the Council monitoring the on-going effectiveness and efficiency of the public wastewater systems, the Council’s Regulatory Services Group maintains an overview of the adequacy of private collection and disposal systems (such as septic tanks on rural properties), and takes appropriate steps when problems or potential problems are identified.

Wastewater treatment, aerator pond

Wastewater Treatment

The Council operates seven treatment plants - located at Kerepehi, Ngatea, Paeroa, Turua, Waihi, Waitakaruru and Whiritoa - to which 6,152 properties are connected. The sewer network includes 47 pump stations to assist the flow of wastewater where flat topography limits the application of gravity flow lines.

The Council also controls the disposal of trade wastes and ensures that these are appropriately collected and treated.

The Kerepehi Floating Treatment Wetland

The Kerepehi wastewater treatment plant uses a two pond oxidation process which was constructed in 1976 to cater for a population of 800 people. Oxidation ponds are natural treatment systems in which beneficial bacteria consume bacteria associated with disease. This process causes the growth of algae which is essential to replenish the oxygen in the ponds, however an undesirable effect of this process is that algae is carried in the discharge water to local rivers and ultimately the Firth of Thames. To address this algal discharge, the Council upgraded the system by introducing a Floating Treatment Wetland, one of the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Kerepehi floating treatment wetlandThe Floating Treatment Wetland consists of woven mats of recycled PET plastics into which wetland species are planted. The plants grow through the mat allowing the roots to be suspended in the water column below the mat. This creates a large surface area which acts as a filter for suspended solids (predominantly the residual algae) and through which natural plant activity removes additional nutrients from the water. Most of the nutrients are retained in the plant until the leaf matter is harvested.

The remaining nutrients either pass into the atmosphere through normal plant activity or are retained in the root mass. The portion of the nutrients and the suspended solids retained by the root mass eventually fall to the pond floor as sludge which is periodically removed using conventional de-sludging methods.

Floating Treatment Wetlands do not require the use of any additional land for treatment, use NZ sourced plants and materials, use low levels of non-renewable resources, do not use chemicals or electricity and are a sustainable approach to treating human waste. As such they are seen as a long-term option which is very cost effective and has a very low Carbon Footprint.

Resource Consents for Wastewater 

Resource consents are permits that allow Hauraki District Council to use or take water and to allow the discharge of water or wastes into air, water or onto land. They include special conditions to protect the environment. These consented activities are monitored to make sure that the conditions are being met. View the resource consents for water.

Paeroa Septage Facilities

For fees relating to the use of Paeroa's septage facilites please see the full schedule of fees on the Fees and Charges page.

Water & Sanitary Services Assessment

This Assessment of Water and Sanitary Services in the Hauraki District comprises of an assessment on water treatment and supply, wastewater treatment and disposal, stormwater management, cemeteries and public toilets.

To determine whether public health will be adequately protected, the Assessment draws on inputs from a variety of statutory sources as well as measures that have been developed at the District level, such as through the Triennial Residents’ Satisfaction Survey. The Assessment is part of the group of documents which form part of the supporting information to the 2015-25 Hauraki Long Term Plan.