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PROJECT 3 | Takapau Wastewater System Upgrades


The Takapau Wastewater Treatment Plant consent expired in October 2021. The plant is preforming to a reasonable standard but some improvements are required. It has a basic oxidation pond treatment and currently discharges to the Makaretu River via a wetland; however, Council has listened to the community’s preference for a land-based discharge system.

In October 2022 a new consent was granted that enables the transition to a land-based system as described below. To read the new resource consent granted by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, visit their website here.

What is the existing wastewater network?

Map base v2 1 Takapau Existing

What is proposed in the future?

The proposed changes within the consent seek a long-term, environmentally responsible approach where treated wastewater will be irrigated onto land, allowing time for soil absorption and plant growth.

This will be the first project of its kind in Central Hawke's Bay, with further ambitions and plans for the rest of the district laid out in the Wastewater Strategy.

Broken down into two stages, the planned changes to the current wastewater system are to be rolled out over a six-year period:

  • Stage 1 will see treatment upgrades, including UV filtration constructed and an irrigation system installed at the new site.
  • Stage 2 will see the construction of a new additional storage pond to provide more capacity at the treatment plant. Following this, the irrigation area will be expanded allowing for all flows to be irrigated to land.

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The aim of the irrigation system will be to ensure there are no affects beyond the irrigation property boundary. Buffers/setbacks will be used and the system will be designed to limit spray drift. Additionally, a wind shut off system will be used where irrigation will be stopped when wind speed exceeds a set limit from a certain direction to minimise any drift.

Odour is a result of a lack of oxygen within wastewater. These conditions typically occur at the bottom of a treatment plant pond or in pipelines where water can sit for an extended period of time. Odour will be managed by making sure the treatment ponds are working properly. If oxygen levels are too low then more treatment will be needed prior to irrigation. If there is water sitting in the irrigation system for some time it can be smelly. This being the case the irrigation system will be started within the centre of the property, away from Beach and Hunter Roads.

The irrigation system will appear no different to a typical centre-pivot irrigator. Unless one was told, there will be no indication it is wastewater being irrigated. The wastewater will appear clear and be indistinguishable from freshwater irrigation.

We are expecting the wastewater will be used to primarily grow grass, however a range of crops such as oats and chicory may be grown. This may vary on a seasonal basis. No crops will be grown for direct human consumption but animals can graze and be processed without restriction.

Like any other environment containing wastewater, care should always be taken when around such locations. All wastewater flows leaving the wastewater treatment plant and irrigated to land will be UV treated, killing bugs that can live in wastewater, reducing the risks to public health.

No. There will be a section of the irrigation area close to State Highway 2 and Burnside Road where no wastewater irrigation will occur. The range of the centre pivot irrigation will be designed to stay within the boundaries of the property.

Storage allows wastewater flows to be captured at periods where the soil may be too wet and cannot receive irrigation. This capturing of wastewater avoids the need for a surface water discharge as flows can be held until a more suitable time for irrigation.

There are numerous land treatment sites in operation. Communities like Levin, Foxton, Feilding, Shannon, Masterton, Carterton, Greytown, Martinborough and Taupo all currently discharge their treated wastewater to land via similar systems with many others in the process of developing land treatment systems.

Since consent was granted, further progression of the design has been made. In January, we conducted a filtration trial at site to gain additional data about the performance of the proposed filters.

We are now working with our design engineers to ensure the best option of filtration for Takapau’s upgrades.

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Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is in the process of renewing and replacing our resource consent for the discharge of wastewater from the Takapau Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Currently, wastewater is treated at the Takapau WWTP along Burnside Road and is discharged to the Makaretu River.

We received a number of formal submissions from community members and organisations, and we worked with these groups throughout the year to ensure that the resource consent met community aspirations.

At the beginning of October 2022 consent was granted, allowing for further progression in design.

Update | 5 October 2021

The consent has been received by Hawkes’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) on the 26th of April 2021.

The application will be publicly notified on Thursday 7th October 2021 in the Hawke’s Bay Today and the Central Hawke’s Bay (CHB) Mail. Submissions will close at 5.00 pm on Friday 5th November 2021.

CHBDC have opted to have the consent publicly notified. This allows members of the public to give feedback on a consent application. Depending on the type and number of submissions, a hearing may take place.

To read more about the consent - you can visit the HBRC website here.

Update | 4 May 2021

A new consent was lodged at the end of April 2021. This is a 35 year consent to establish a land based discharge regime. Once the consent is granted, which could take approx. 6 months, it will see the implementation of improved treatment and an initial land-based discharge system. Further stages within 5 years will see additional storage added and the land based system increased to ultimately cease all discharge to the Makaretu River within 5 years.



Update | 25 March 2021

Council held a long term plan community meeting on Tuesday 24th March - well attended by approx. 20 community members where an update on the wastewater project was presented.

The project is on track and the new long term consent application is planned to be lodged with Hawkes Bay Regional Council by 30th April 2021.

A copy of the presentation delivered can be found here.

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Update | 19 March 2021

ouncil have just finished an Inlet works upgrade to Takapau Wastewater treatment plant to better measure inflow into the pond and outflow and ensure anything coming in was screened. This project involved upgraded inlet works with a screen and flow meter, upgrading the outlet flow meter and the installation of monitoring bores.

Work was carried out by Veolia between June 2020 and Feb 2021, with a value of $230k.

This project is a key part of the wider upgrade works as we prepare to, (subject to consent) remove discharge from waterways and irrigate to land.




Update | 27 July 2020

A community meeting was held on Monday evening from 5-7pm in the Takapau Town Hall.

The presentation can be accessed here.

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Update | 21 July 2020

Flyers will be going out to residents this week to invite the community to the second community engagement session as we form the plan for the preferred option for the future of the Takapau wastewater system.


Update | 18 December 2019

A community meeting was held on Tuesday 17th December 2019 and the community was extremely engaged in providing constructive feedback and direction to council. This now allows council to rule out some options, and further investigate others.

Officers are going away and will bring back some high level options and a plan to a meeting in February 2020.

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Update | 9 December 2019

A community meeting is planned for Tuesday 17th December at the Town Hall from 1-3pm to start the discussions on the Takapau Wastewater network and our journey towards replacing the resource consent.

Please find a link to the flyer going out to the community this week.

Update | 5 April 2019

A copy of the new resource consent to 31 October 2021, can be found here.

Due to the works underway with the Waipukurau, Waipawa and Otane wastewater plants, Council plans to commence this reference group and subsequent work later in 2019.

Update | 18 January 2019

On Monday 10 December 2018, Council was granted an extension to resource consents DP180115W and DP180124A through to 31 October 2021. 

As previously planned, Council will now commence works to establish a community reference group and prepare for the future of the wastewater plant in Takapau, prior to the new end of consent date.

Update | 6 November 2018

Council has submitted the final component of the extension to Hawkes Bay Regional Council (HBRC) in early October 2018, and now awaits the decision.

Council will shortly commence planning with a community group and local iwi, on the future of the wastewater treatment plant and what it looks like, all the while working towards a best practicable option (BPO).

Once a best practicable option (BPO) is reached, council will work on gaining a resource consent to upgrade or build the plant to those specs.

Further updates will be provided as this project progresses.

takapau waste water

Update | 27 September 2018

Council is working with local tai whenua to gain approval to extend our resource consent while we explore land based and other options for the future of this wastewater treatment plant.

We are making good progress and hope to have this all wrapped up by the end of October 2018, when we can move into the investigation and design phase of this project.

Update | 29 August 2018

An extension has been requested of this resource consent which expired on 31 May 2018 to allow Central Hawkes Bay District Council time to consider all options for this site, including land based options. Hawkes Bay Regional Council are currently considering this extension request, and have advised us they request a time extension to do so, whilst they consult with the community on this. We are currently considering options for the future of this site.

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