Completion of the Southern Pipeline project is a race against time to prevent wastewater overflows into the harbour. The Southern Pipeline will add much-needed capacity to the city’s wastewater network, which is at straining point. It will divert wastewater to Te Maunga, a facility that can be expanded to cope with future growth.
Tauranga has two wastewater treatment plants. The plant at Chapel Street was built in the 1960s to service a population of 32,000. It has no more room for expansion. Meanwhile the city continues to grow and regularly produces more wastewater than the Chapel Street plant can cope with. Chapel Street is regularly overloaded and its performance is deteriorating. The plant has produced lower quality treated effluent over the past two years. This problem is being managed, but the long term solution is to divert more waste away from Chapel Street as soon as possible. The Southern Pipeline will relieve the burden on the Chapel Street treatment plant and improve its performance.
As a last resort measure during situations where the Chapel Street treatment plant is overloading, Tauranga City Council has resource consent to discharge treated wastewater into the Tauranga Harbour. This is more likely to occur during heavy rain, because that is when extra stormwater enters the wastewater system through manholes and gully traps, overloading the network.
Last Reviewed: 28/11/2016