Akaroa wastewater treatment plant is located at Takapūneke to the south of Akaroa township. It treats wastewater from Akaroa.
Records indicate that the treatment plant was constructed in 1960, with upgrades carried out in 1984, 1998 and in 2009.
The wastewater is treated using a technique called sedimentation in two Imhoff tanks, before biological treatment in a trickling filter and secondary sedimentation with UV disinfection. The treated wastewater is discharged to sea via a short marine outfall pipe.
The plant is located on a site at Takapūneke which is a place of particular significance to the Ōnuku Rūnanga. In 1830 a massacre of up to 200 of the pa inhabitants was carried out by Te Rauparaha. It is now widely acknowledged that construction of a wastewater treatment plant at this site was an act of particular cultural insensitivity.
The treatment plant services the whole of the Akaroa community of around 650 permanent residents, but does not extend over the hill to Takamatua, and ironically neither does it service the Ōnuku Marae community.
The Council has a consent (CRC202179(external link)) for the discharge to the harbour, which expires on 8 October 2020. We are working through options for ways to deal with Akaroa’s wastewater in the future, including the possibility of applying treated wastewater to land. Consideration is also being given to the possibility of removing the plant from the current site.
For further information on the options being considered, see the Akaroa wastewater scheme page. We will be submitting a new consent application by 8 April 2020 to continue discharging from the Akaroa wastewater treatment plant while we consent and build the new wastewater scheme.