Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade

Rotorua Lakes Council and CNI have made a commitment to end spraying treated wastewater in Whakarewarewa Forest by 2019.

The upgraded Wastewater Treatment Plant will be able to handle more than 70 million litres of wastewater, which is three times more than it does today.

Council is currently engaging with the community to find out what residents think about the preferred Water Restoration Land Contact Bed and the treated wastewater release point option, which have been designed using Māori knowledge. (Matauranga Māori)

Council needs your help to answer two prominent questions:

  • How can we improve the design of the Land Contact Bed proposed at the Wastewater Treatment Plant?
  • How best can we address your concerns about the proposed Land Contact Bed?


Rotorua Lakes Council and CNI have made a commitment to end spraying treated wastewater in Whakarewarewa Forest by 2019.

The upgraded Wastewater Treatment Plant will be able to handle more than 70 million litres of wastewater, which is three times more than it does today.

Council is currently engaging with the community to find out what residents think about the preferred Water Restoration Land Contact Bed and the treated wastewater release point option, which have been designed using Māori knowledge. (Matauranga Māori)

Council needs your help to answer two prominent questions:

  • How can we improve the design of the Land Contact Bed proposed at the Wastewater Treatment Plant?
  • How best can we address your concerns about the proposed Land Contact Bed?


  • Latest update

    by RRRangitauira, about 1 year ago

    Message from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council - RM18-0508: Rotorua Lakes Council:

    Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua Lakes Council have received an application from the Rotorua Lakes Council (the applicant) for a suite of resource consents associated with the upgrade of the existing Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the discharge of treated wastewater to the Te Arikiroa Channel of Lake Rotorua at Puarenga Bay (Sulphur Bay).

    This resource consent application covers the works involved with upgrading the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the construction of a new land contact bed and discharge channel, in addition to the ongoing...

    Message from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council - RM18-0508: Rotorua Lakes Council:

    Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Rotorua Lakes Council have received an application from the Rotorua Lakes Council (the applicant) for a suite of resource consents associated with the upgrade of the existing Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the discharge of treated wastewater to the Te Arikiroa Channel of Lake Rotorua at Puarenga Bay (Sulphur Bay).

    This resource consent application covers the works involved with upgrading the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the construction of a new land contact bed and discharge channel, in addition to the ongoing discharge of treated wastewater to the Te Arikiroa Channel of Lake Rotorua. Other associated consents to allow for the reuse of treated wastewater, the discharge of nutrients to the lake and contaminants (primarily odour) to the air from the Wastewater Treatment Plant are also sought.

    Hard copies of the resource consent application can be inspected at the following locations:

    1. Rotorua Library - 1127 Haupapa Street, Rotorua
    2. Rotorua Lakes Council - 1061 Haupapa Street, Rotorua
    3. Bay of Plenty Regional Council - 1125 Arawa Street, Rotorua
    Submissions on these applications close at 5.00pm on Monday, 26th November 2018.


  • Water Restoration Land Contact Bed design

    about 2 years ago
    Diagrame image

    Māori knowledge (Matauranga Māori) has shaped the new design of the Water Restoration Land Contact Bed, which is proposed for the Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant.

    It emulates the natural water cleansing processes of Mother Nature (Papatūānuku). The initial concept was designed by the

    Rotorua Project Steering Committee’s Cultural Assessment Sub-Committee. Rotorua Lakes Council has also enlisted the help of Matauranga Māori experts to refine the initial concept, which can be seen in the video above.

    Māori knowledge (Matauranga Māori) has shaped the new design of the Water Restoration Land Contact Bed, which is proposed for the Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant.

    It emulates the natural water cleansing processes of Mother Nature (Papatūānuku). The initial concept was designed by the

    Rotorua Project Steering Committee’s Cultural Assessment Sub-Committee. Rotorua Lakes Council has also enlisted the help of Matauranga Māori experts to refine the initial concept, which can be seen in the video above.

  • Where have we come from?

    by RRRangitauira, about 2 years ago
    Photo 04 prev wwtp

    Our current wastewater treatment plant:
    • Sited on eastern edge of Lake Rotorua in Sanatorium Reserve - Reserve gifted by Ngāti Whakaue for public purposes under 1880 Fenton Agreement
    • Deconstructs wastewater incl domestic sewage, rain, sediment, industrial wastewater & some storm water
    • Deals with about 20 million litres of wastewater per day
    • Pumped up to the Whakarewarewa Forest
    • Best in NZ at removing nitrogen, but recovered water is still high in phosphorous and pathogens

    The current process involves:
    2/3 wastewater undergoes 5-stage Bardenpho biological treatment, 1/3 membrane bio-reactor (click on the image to make it...

    Our current wastewater treatment plant:
    • Sited on eastern edge of Lake Rotorua in Sanatorium Reserve - Reserve gifted by Ngāti Whakaue for public purposes under 1880 Fenton Agreement
    • Deconstructs wastewater incl domestic sewage, rain, sediment, industrial wastewater & some storm water
    • Deals with about 20 million litres of wastewater per day
    • Pumped up to the Whakarewarewa Forest
    • Best in NZ at removing nitrogen, but recovered water is still high in phosphorous and pathogens

    The current process involves:
    2/3 wastewater undergoes 5-stage Bardenpho biological treatment, 1/3 membrane bio-reactor (click on the image to make it larger):





  • Where are we going?

    by RRRangitauira, about 2 years ago
    Wtp 01

    Land Contact Bed Water Restoration
    Treated wastewater leaves the plant and enters the contact bed system which emulates mother nature by purifying the waiparapara/ recovered water leaving it just short of drinking standard.

    • Entering the system it goes through a bubbling water filtration process
    • Followed by a series of rock and vegetation filtering bands
    • A water fountain system to create turbulence and aeration follows
    • Before the waiparapara moves across shallow water channels before entering a rock pool system
    • Then moving to an aquatic life calming pond before being released through a rock filtration waterfall
    In total, the new process will...

    Land Contact Bed Water Restoration
    Treated wastewater leaves the plant and enters the contact bed system which emulates mother nature by purifying the waiparapara/ recovered water leaving it just short of drinking standard.

    • Entering the system it goes through a bubbling water filtration process
    • Followed by a series of rock and vegetation filtering bands
    • A water fountain system to create turbulence and aeration follows
    • Before the waiparapara moves across shallow water channels before entering a rock pool system
    • Then moving to an aquatic life calming pond before being released through a rock filtration waterfall
    In total, the new process will involve a full membrane bio-reactor process, with extra phosphorus removal and microfiltration plus UV light treatment. The blue circle indicates the point at which the wastewater reaches the Land Contact Bed Water Restoration system. (click on image below to enlarge):





    Where the The Land Contact Bed Area will be located (click on the image to make it larger):