Council provides our district with reliable and safe wastewater services to protect the health of our communities and the environment.

Wastewater, also known as sewage, is the used water that goes down sinks, washing machines, showers, baths and toilets. Most of it is water. The rest includes organic matter such as human waste, food scraps, cooking fats, oil and grease, and debris such as sand, grit and plastic. 

Wastewater management is an essential service, and our Council is responsible for ensuring it collects, treats, and disposes of wastewater from properties and businesses safely.

The treatment and disposal of wastewater is governed by various resource consents under the Resource Management Act, which are aimed at minimising adverse effects to the receiving environment.

Key facts:

  • Wastewater systems owned and operated by Thames-Coromandel District Council: 10
  • Our wastewater systems are: Thames, Tairua, Pauanui, Onemana, Whangamata, Whitianga, Hahei, Cooks Beach, Matarangi, Coromandel.
  • Except for Tairua, all other systems have their own wastewater plants. Wastewater from Tairua is pumped to the Pauanui wastewater plant for treatment and disposal.
  • Whilst some of our older treatment plants, such as Thames, operate on a conventional wastewater treatment process, the newer plants such as Whitianga, Whangamata and Pauanui operate on a SBR (Sequencing Batch Reactor) system.
  • Total length of wastewater pipe network: 397km
  • Wastewater pumping stations: 131
  • Wastewater manholes: 7,794 manholes
  • Wastewater connections in the district: 22,677
  • Estimated total volume of wastewater treated annually: 3,262,858m3

To ensure smooth operation of our wastewater network, it is very important that it is free of blockages. Blockages in the network cause wastewater to overflow, and that is not very pleasant for anyone. One of the best ways that everyone can help to ensure a blockage free wastewater network is by flushing only Poo, Pee and Paper down a toilet.

Wastewater services are paid through targeted rates.

If any building work on your property involves work at or near a Council stormwater asset such as a pipeline or a manhole, please refer to our Council's Build Over Policy and Council's Engineering Code of Practice for Subdivisions, for further details on procedures to be followed.


Some Definitions

Beneficial re-use: Recycling of highly treated wastewater for irrigation and using biosolids in compost mixtures.

Bio-solids: Nutrient rich sludge remaining after water is extracted. The basis of a great compost after a suitable resting period.

Grit Treatment: Separation of solids that enter the treatment facility and won’t break down during treatment.

Resource consent: Consent that must be obtained from environmental agencies (in this case, the Waikato Regional Council), stating what must be done to mitigate adverse effects and protect the environment.

Rising main: Pressurised pipeline from a wastewater pump station to the wastewater treatment plant.

Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR): Wastewater treatment tanks that aerate untreated wastewater and separate out bio-solids.

Sub-surface irrigation: Underground pipes for dispersing treated wastewater.

UV treatment: Ultra-violet light that disinfects the treated effluent and kills micro-organisms and pathogens.

Wastewater: Water and solids that go into our sewage network from toilets, bathrooms, kitchens and laundries.