Let’s talk about the Winton wastewater treatment plant

Let's Chat Winton

We want to keep you updated about the proposed upgrade of Winton's wastewater system. Keep an eye on this page for news. If you want to have your say, use the contribute section to add comments.

The current consent for the Winton wastewater treatment plant will expire in 2023.

Due to changing regulations and standards, it’s unlikely a long-term renewal of consent will be granted.

That means a new, long-term and sustainable solution to treat and discharge the town’s wastewater will need to be found.

It’s going to be a complex project.

Southland District Council staff are working alongside consultants and a working group, comprising experts and representatives from a range of sectors, to determine potential options.

Each option discussed comes with environmental, cultural, social and economic considerations and it appears likely disposal of treated wastewater to land will be required. 

At any stage of the process, please feel free to contact us for more information or to be involved. Simply ask a question on this page, or phone 0800 732 732.

Key Documents

Consultants, GHD have prepared a Phase 1 Evaluation Report, which can be viewed at the link below:

Phase 1 Evaluation Report >>


Option 1 – Discharge to water optimisation

Treatment performance of existing wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is enhanced through additional aeration, desludging regime, addition of chemicals or baffle curtain to oxidation pond, retain existing stream disposal.


Option 2 - Discharge to water add-on treatment

Additional treatment processes for ammonia and DRP removal (activated sludge treatment, extended aerations), retain existing stream disposal.


Option 3 – Discharge to water tertiary treatment

Additional disinfection process after wetland (UV, membrane filtration), retain existing stream disposal


Option 4 – Discharge to water – new WWTP current location

Winton pond is replaced with a new treatment plant, likely a high rate process.


Option 5 – Discharge to land 90% - existing WWTP

Minimal change to treatment process at Winton WWTP, liquid effluent from wetland pumped to irrigation system


Option 5a – Discharge to land 100% existing WWTP

As for option 5 but with 100% land disposal


Option 6 – Discharge to land 90% - add on treatment

Additional treatment process for AmmN, DRP removal and UV, then to irrigation system


Option 6a – Discharge to land 100% - add on treatment

Existing wastewater treatment plant enhanced. New pump station. Treated wastewater pumped to and discharged to land (either via surface or sub-surface irrigation). Note: Image is guide only. Land location undetermined at this stage.


Option 7 – Plant relocation and discharge to land

Winton WWTP is decommissioned and relocated to area in close proximity to suitable land disposal fields



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

  • 10 options have been identified for viable cost effective solutions for Winton wastewater
  • 5 options of 100% disposal to water have been discontinued due to stakeholder consultation
  • 4 options of a combination of land and water disposal have been discontinued due to their dependency on water disposal
  • One option has been shortlisted:
    • 100% land disposal and new treatment facility at the existing Winton ponds site
  • Te Ao Marama have endorsed the option of 100% disposal to land as the primary option
  • The current Winton waste water discharge consent expires December 2023
  • The Winton waste water discharge consent application will need to be amended or re-applied for
  • Two land packages within the Winton area have been identified that following preliminary investigation, would be deemed suitable for 100% land disposal
  • The budget within the Long Term Plan is set at $29.2 million
  • The cost estimate is between $27 million and $66 million
  • The preferred option is for the land disposal and new treatment facility at the existing Winton ponds site

Latest questions, suggestions & ideas

Below are some of the latest ideas and suggestions that have come through. You can comment on and rate the ideas by clicking on them or you can contribute your own ideas by selecting contribute below. 

Hi there, as a close neighbour with the current…

Hi there, as a close neighbour with the current… read more

Larina Harris Wednesday 31 Mar 2021

I don't live in Winton but am a 45 year-old…

I don't live in Winton but am a 45 year-old… read more

Nick Kiddey Wednesday 3 Mar 2021