Titahi Bay water & treatment plant updates

This is a page where Council will relay information on projects that impact Titahi Bay and its water supply.

You can find out useful information on this page about the Wastewater Treatment Plant, where it is safe to swim, and links to Wellington Water pages of relevance.

Wastewater Treatment Plant

The combined population of Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Porirua produce about 145 million litres of wastewater every day . This water is treated at one of four plants - two in Wellington, one in Porirua and one in Lower Hutt - before being returned to the environment.

There is an extensive upgrade of the plant under way - you can read more details here.

The current consent for the Porirua Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) expired in 2020. Prior to the expiry of this consent, Porirua City Council applied to Greater Wellington Regional Council for a new consent (a coastal permit) to discharge treated wastewater from the plant to coastal waters off Rukutane Point. While this process is underway, we continue to operate under the existing consents.

You can read more about the treatment process, the plant, the resource consents and the current application on Wellington Water’s website here:

Planning for a central storage tank

For a healthier harbour and coastal waters, we need to reduce the amount of untreated wastewater overflowing from the network. Overflows happen when wet weather increases the amount of water flowing through the network beyond the amount the pipes can carry.

To reduce overflows, we’re planning to build a new storage tank in central Porirua, located north of the railway station.

Read all about it here

Information evening

An information evening was held on 9 June 2021 on the consenting process, and a response provided by Council and Wellington Water. Download it here

Community Hui

A community hui was held in Titahi Bay on 29 March 2021. Here’s a copy of the presentation

Can I swim here?

Before you head to the beach, you can check out lawa.org to find out the current status of beaches across Porirua City.

Knowing your Pipes

Titahi Bay’s pipe network is being inspected as part of a project, called Knowing your Pipes, to improve water quality in the region.

The project in Porirua, led by Wellington Water, will involve crews checking pipes in the public and private network.

Some homeowners in Titahi Bay were contacted and had their pipes checked, using low-risk smoke testing and dye tracing. Thank you to those how have been involved and who have taken steps to make repairs.

Homeowners are responsible for the pipes from their home to the property boundary. If there is any cost to fix faults on private property, Porirua ratepayers will be able to apply for assistance to spread the cost via Porirua City Council rates.

The project has also identified work to be done on the public network and some of this is underway.

News release from 28 February, 2020, on improving water quality in Porirua here.

How Council can help homeowners

  • A repair might be large or costly to undertake and you may not be able to afford the upfront expense of the work. If a repair is too expensive to be paid for all at once, call the Council to find out how the cost of the repair can be borrowed using financial assistance
  • When a notice to repair has been given, the property owner has 3 months to sign-up for a targeted rate contract agreement
  • Repairs under the targeted rate will be managed by Wellington Water
  • The assistance allows yearly repayments of $500 (plus GST) until the cost is repaid in full. This amount will be included as part of your normal rates assessment
  • If a property owner sells the property and there is an outstanding amount the total amount owing must be repaid in full prior to sale
  • For further details please refer to Part 9 Rates Postponement to Fund Repairs to Private Stormwater and Wastewater Pipes of our Rates Remission and Postponement Policy

Porirua Wastewater Programme

Any water that goes down the toilet, sink or any other drains in your home is wastewater. To find out where it goes, watch this video:

Key issues facing our city: drinking water, wastewater and stormwater

Key issues facing our city with regard to the three waters: drinking water, wastewater (all the water that goes down our sinks and toilets) and stormwater (rain water that runs off our roofs and streets).

Water quality at Titahi Bay

Wellington Water are regularly monitoring and measuring water quality at Titahi Bay (and other points around the coast and in the harbour).

Click here to go to the dedicated WW page on sampling, network status and treatment plant status in Titahi Bay.

To assess whether Titahi Bay is safe for swimming, independent contractors take measurements as part of the Greater Wellington Regional Council regional bathing site sampling programme (which is called Baywatch). These samples are correctly taken knee-deep in the sea (0.15 metres from the surface).  They have also been sampling at the outlet of the South Beach access culvert.

In addition, there is a separate testing programme required by the treatment plant consent, that monitors the discharge from the plant.  These samples are collected and analysed by an independent lab to the satisfaction of the regulator, Greater Wellington Regional Council. The results from the testing programmes reinforce our assessment that the contamination at Titahi Bay is coming from the pipe network, not the plant.

If you have questions please contact [email protected]

Boat sheds

Boat sheds are normally used to store boats and their associated paraphernalia. But in the Wellington region, many people have set up home in their sheds to better enjoy coastal life. In the past this practice was low key and councils tended to turn a blind eye to it. But there are not a lot of coastal areas around Wellington and Porirua that are suitable to launch boats from so, by the 1990s, residential use of boat sheds had started to squeeze out the number of boat sheds available for storing boats.

Any sort of building on the foreshore restricts public access to and along that piece of coast. This is contrary to the principles of the Resource Management Act. On top of that, most boat sheds don't have toilets connected to a sewer. The Council now requires resource consents from people wanting to stay in their boat sheds, and is taking enforcement action against those people who break the rules.