The Wairoa District Council provides infrastructure around the district to deal with Storm and Wastewater. For an overview of the infrastructure please read below.
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The short term focus for the stormwater & drainage activity is to reduce the risk of flooding within the urban areas of Wairoa and Tuai by maintaining piped and open drains.
Whilst drains protect property from flooding increasingly, communities are becoming concerned about the quality of the water in our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.
Stormwater is natural water. It is essentially rain that runs over the ground on its way to the sea. When rain falls on buildings, car parks, roads, driveways and gardens, if it doesn't soak into the ground, it follows its natural flow path downhill until it reaches a watercourse or is collect by a pipe system.
Where there is development, run-off from properties and roads flows into stormwater systems. The greater the level of development in a catchment, the greater the level of impervious surfaces, (e.g. roofs, driveways, paths etc) and the greater the conversion of rainfall into runoff.
Towns have a need to control stormwater flow to prevent flooding to properties. Stormwater systems include watercourses, open channels, and other structures that reticulate stormwater to its final discharge point. Because public stormwater systems are designed to take stormwater away, inevitably sediment, debris or waste is collected at the same time.
Council recognises this, and is continually implementing a variety of policies, practices and procedures designed to handle stormwater and runoff so that we protect our assets but do not make water quality worse in the process.
Wastewater is 99.97 percent water. The majority of which comes from showers, baths, and washing machines. The remainder includes organic matter such as:
There are four wastewater schemes in the Wairoa District.
All these schemes connect to a treatment facility through a series of pipes which run through and alongside people’s properties. Using biological and ultraviolet treatment methods, treated wastewater is then discharged to nearby land or waterways.
Only flush the 3 p’s – poo, pee and paper
The aim of the Wairoa Wastewater Consenting Project is to find ways to improve the way the town’s wastewater is discharged, and then obtain approval for the discharge from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.
The existing discharge consent expired in May 2019. We (the community) need to adopt a system we are happy with; that is a system that has no negative impacts on the environment and the community, and is affordable.
The Wairoa District Council is working alongside consultants, the Wairoa Wastewater Stakeholder Group and the wider community to find the most appropriate method for future discharge of our wastewater.
The Wairoa wastewater discharge consent expired in May 2019. An application to discharge treated wastewater to the environment had to be made to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) by 30 November 2018. Wairoa District Council (WDC) staff have been working alongside specialist advisors to develop options for a new discharge system, which has been informed with input from the Wairoa Wastewater Stakeholder Group and feedback received from the community.
It is also clear that the condition of the Wairoa River is not great, to the point that its condition caused by upstream sources of contaminants (silt, nutrients, and pathogens) is potentially masking any effects of the treated wastewater discharge that occurs shortly before the Wairoa River reaches the sea. The community would like to see improvements to the management and quality of water in the river, including that discharged from the wastewater treatment plant.
While removal of treated wastewater from the Wairoa River is desirable from an environmental and cultural perspective, alternatives have technical limitations and are expensive. A solution is needed to allow the ongoing discharge of treated wastewater, and recognition is also needed of the current state of the river.
In July 2012, Council approved the spending of $350,000 from depreciation reserves to go towards investigations into wastewater reticulation inflow and infiltration within the Wairoa township.
Once the investigations are carried out, council staff will have a very good understanding of all the issues, as well as have various options to move the project forward.
Part of the initial investigations will be to look at the cultural implications of developing a new system.
WDC's Maori Standing Committee have resolved to advocate on behalf of tangata whenua in regards to protecting the river, which is central to spiritual and physical wellbeing, as well as to tribal identity.
As part of the WDC, the committee will be actively involved in the process to bring the wastewater system up to an acceptable standard.
This will involve working closely with the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, which has the official responsibility of monitoring and protecting the river.
The entire project is expected to take several years due to the complicated nature of the problem and the costs involved.
Update: September 2021
The consent process has been lengthy and involved, however a decision by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is expected in October 2021. Further updates will be added to the website at this time.
On 8th July 2020, the Government announced a funding package of $761 million to provide immediate post-COVID-19 stimulus to local authorities to maintain and improve three waters infrastructure. Of the $761 million, Wairoa District Council received $11.04 million.
Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Crown on 18th August 2020 to spend Crown funds in line with an agreed Delivery Plan.
The Delivery Plan outlined several key projects that Council intends to complete using stimulus funding; these are listed below:
Further information for the Opoutama Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade can be found in the following document:
For more information please contact the Wairoa District Council.
+64 6 838 7309
97-103 Queen Street, Wairoa 4108
PO Box 54, Wairoa 4160
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