Manapouri wastewater treatment plant

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A future direction for Manapouri wastewater

Southland District Council is considering four options for the future of Manapouri’s wastewater. While each option ends at the Kepler block for disposal, all have complexities which need taken into account.

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We want to update you about the future of Manapouri wastewater proposed upgrade so keep an eye on this page for news. If you want to have your say, use the contribute section to add comments.


Five options have been identified for viable cost effective solutions for Manapouri Waste water.

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Option 1

New treatment membrane-type plant at Manapouri, pumped to Kepler, which utilises the existing pond.

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Option 2

Raw wastewater is pumped to the Te Anau ponds, with ‘lumps’ 6mm and over removed. The existing Te Anau system would be utilised to transfer back to Kepler.

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Option 3

A new treatment system is developed at Manapouri (lower grade than membrane option) with ‘lumps’ 6mm and over removed. The existing Te Anau system is utilised to transfer back to Kepler and the pond hopefully removed.

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Option 4

A new pump station is developed at Manapouri to pump to Kepler. A membrane-type plant is developed at Kepler but treatment waste pumped back to the pond at Manapouri.


Option 5

The remaining options 1 and 2 culminate into the creation of Option 5, that involves treatment facilities located at either Manapouri ponds site or the Kepler SDI disposal fields. This is the preferred option. The final solution to meet the following criteria:

- treatment quality to match or exceed the Te Anau waste water
- ability to fit within the available land
- noise limits
- odour control
- value for money


It is important to factor various constraints impacting the project into consideration, including the following:

  • Fiordland Sewerage Options and Te Ao Marama favour the newly constructed Kepler wastewater disposal fields and support the sub soil drip irrigation (SDI) method. Therefore, wastewater must be to membrane micro filtration quality or similar to meet requirements for particle size to suit SDI irrigation.
  • The Kepler SDI disposal fields has the current capacity to handle Te Anau and Manapouri flows without further extension of the current plant but may require expansion once the flow increases due to tourist numbers.
  • The current Manapouri wastewater discharge consent expires September 2024.
  • The Manapouri waste water discharge consent application will need to be amended or re-applied, as the discharge consent conditions for the Kepler SDI site are outlined for Te Anau township only.
  • Land ownership by SDC at Manapouri, View Street and around the wastewater ponds is very limited, but it is believed sufficient land is available to construct the necessary treatment facility.
  • The current wastewater pond is consented to discharge 150m³ per day. This is expected to not be continued within the next consent application.
  • Two options of pumping Manapouri waste water back to Te Anau have been abandoned due to current market estimates, that proved cost prohibitive.
  • The budget within the Long Term Plan is set at $4.5 million
  • The cost estimate is between $6.1 million and $10 million
Southland District Council Monday 15 Nov 2021
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