24.02.2021

Report sets future strategy for wastewater in New Zealand

The NZ Wastewater Sector Report commissioned by the Ministry for the Environment outlines a framework for understanding current and emerging trends in the management of wastewater nationally.

Developed in collaboration with Beca, GHD and Boffa Miskell, it draws on the collective knowledge and experience of the wastewater industry across the country. 

The report includes detailed information on trade waste management, environmental performance, land-based wastewater discharges and climate change, and provides possible ways to deliver a strong, sector-led approach by:

  • outlining the challenges and opportunities facing the municipal wastewater sector
  • identifying issues with the current regulatory framework
  • setting out key questions from case studies that the sector needs to address
  • describing the important need to incorporate Tikanga Māori values and principles.

“The world is changing, and we must change with it. That is as true for wastewater as it is for any other industry,” says Garrett Hall, Technical Director – Environments at Beca. 

Detailed in its coverage, the report provides a description of the key factors influencing the environmental performance of wastewater treatment plants and networks. This includes an overview of key cost drivers for different wastewater treatment processes and their relative effectiveness in reducing contaminants in wastewater prior to discharge. It also looks at the ability to transition towards 100% land-based wastewater discharges, including a review of practical, technical, and financial implications and considerations.

The report is intended to support the Ministry’s work to improve the environmental performance of municipal wastewater discharges and networks; part of the Government’s plan to improve outcomes for Three Waters infrastructure, and to protect and restore water quality in New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and beaches. 

Read the NZ Wastewater Sector Report

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