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Martinborough Wastewater Treatment Plant

At the Martinborough Wastewater Treatment plant, sewage flows through an aerated facultative pond, a series of maturation ponds and ultraviolet treatment. Discharge of the treated effluent is managed to either an adjacent block of land by irrigation or to the Ruamahanga River depending on the season, river levels and conditions of the Resource Consents.

The plant was granted new consents on 11 February 2016. These consents will continue for 35 years (expire 11 February 2051).

In general, the consents allow SWDC:

  • to discharge treated wastewater to land via an irrigation system at a flow rate of 795m3/day (Stage 1B) and 4300m3/d (Stages 2A and 2B)
  • to discharge treated wastewater to the Ruamahanga River at an annual average daily flow of up to 650 cubic meters per day and at a maximum daily rate of up to 4,300 cubic meters per day
  • to discharge treated wastewater to land via seepage from the oxidation ponds
  • to discharge odours from the oxidation ponds within the boundary
  • to discharge odours and other contaminants from irrigation of treated wastewater to land within the boundary.

Resource Consents

Plant Perfomance






Current Status: non-compliant

Period: February 2024


In February 2024, a new 'To Do Abatement Notice' was issued for Martinborough. This superseded the August 2023 notice, which in turn replaced the Abatement Notice issued in 2022, although the WWTP still remains non-compliant. 

WWL and SWDC are working together to address the items raised in the new Notice, as part of the compliance upgrade project underway.

Major investment is required, and current approved funding levels do not meet this requirement.

It is expected that decisions around additional treatment & disposal capacity will be discussed, once the Martinborough Growth Study (underway) is completed.


Items of significance:

Current plant design is insufficient to avoid non-compliance. Effluent discharge rate and quality to land continues to exceed current consent limits. Effluent volume discharged to river continues to exceed the annual average consent limit. 

Irrigation for the season has commenced; the field capacity is an operational constraint.

New sludge survey was undertaken by the project team.  

A new pond inlet flowmeter has been installed and is working well. 

The annual consent Compliance Summary from GWRC was received by WWL on the 02 Feb. The report summarises  overall compliance as being "Poor".