New Cambridge waste water treatment plant
New infrastructure for a growing community
Analysis of population growth, environmental and legislative requirements have identified a new wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is required to service residents in Cambridge, Hautapu, Karapiro and Leamington areas. Waipā District Council (WDC) has committed $100 million from the current Long Term Plan to develop a facility with improved environmental performance and capacity to meet an expanding population.
What is the Cambridge WWTP?
The Cambridge WWTP is part of a safe and effective system for managing wastewater in urban areas to maintain public health and minimise contamination of land and waterways. It is located at Matos Segedin Drive and is one of two plants operated by us. You’ll find it to the west of Cambridge township, surrounded by the Waikato River to the north and farmland and industrial sites along other boundaries.
How does it operate?
The Cambridge WWTP receives wastewater, provides treatment and then discharges it to land before the water travels to the Waikato River as groundwater.
What we’ve done so far
The Cambridge WWTP was operating under several consents granted in 1997. Over the past two years, we’ve been upgrading the Cambridge WWTP to comply with its operating conditions. In December 2020, we were granted a short-term consent to allow the plant to continue operating and discharging wastewater. A condition of the approval was that a resource consent for a long-term solution is lodged by 31 Dec 2022, and a new plant is operational by 1 Dec 2026.
The proposed WWTP
The new Cambridge WWTP will have a high quality discharge that is comparable to the best treatment plants in New Zealand likely utilising Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) technology. Future plant upgrades could identify beneficial recycling options for this treated, high quality effluent.
The plant will occupy a smaller footprint, one-third of the size of the current plant. Unused land on the site can be remediated providing an opportunity for alternative uses. The new facility will consist of buildings, tanks and large concrete structures instead of the current pond based system.
It will take into account visual impact, noise and odour management plus meet high quality effluent standards. The biosolids generated by the new plant will be recycled as compost via a third party. Over the coming months, the current WWTP plant will be implementing the same recycling process.
The new plant will align with Te Ture Whaimana o te Awa o Waikato (the Vision and Strategy for the Waikato River) and with Tai Tumu Tai Pari Tai Ao, (the Waikato-Tainui Environmental Plan) and Waikato Regional Plans; whilst also understanding and considering any other matters important to tāngata whenua.
We are in the process of completing an environmental investigation at the site, a new plant design and a long term resource consent for the discharge of the highly treated effluent. Work is being undertaken over the coming months to determine the location and method of discharge. Options include:
- Discharging to land similar to the present plant i.e., rapid infiltration beds on the Waikato Riverbank discharging to groundwater,
- Discharge structures along the banks of the Waikato River.
- A combination of the above options
The option that is selected will depend on technical feasibility and will be in consultation with manu whenua and other stakeholders.
Working with you
We’re keen to work alongside iwi, stakeholders and the community to help design the new Cambridge WWTP. We want to understand your concerns and feedback on this important project. If you want more information or to share your thoughts then please contact us at 0800 WAIPĀ DC (0800 924 723) or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject: Cambridge Waste Water Treatment Plant.