Manukau Harbour update:

Do you want wastewater discharged at Clarks Beach?

In late 2017, Watercare obtained a resource consent from Auckland Council to discharge treated wastewater from a new location in the Waiuku River channel as part of its $128-million South-West Wastewater Servicing Project.
Watercare promotes the use of “dilution” and its plan is to discharge treated wastewater adjacent to the Clarks Beach Golf Club.

Many people, including the Manukau Harbour Restoration Society (MHRS), have major concerns regarding the long-term impact of discharging treated wastewater next to the Clarks Beach Golf Course, particularly regarding nitrogen and phosphorous levels. Treated wastewater has been
discharged for the past 50 years from Watercare’s Mangere Waste Water Treatment Plant, and this wastewater takes some twelve days to reach the Tasman Sea. In 2021, is this still an appropriate method of discharge for treated wastewater?

Anglers refer to Watercare’s wastewater outlet at Puketutu Island, where it discharges large volumes of treated wastewater, as a dead zone. Residents of the Clarks Beach/Waiau Pa district are concerned that the same thing will happen here as well.

The late Dame Nganeko Minhinnick, of the Ngati Te Ata iwi, strongly advocated that wastewater should not discharge into the Manukau Harbour. She felt that an acceptable solution would be to discharge treated wastewater directly into the Tasman Sea. Let us not lose sight of the wisdom of this farsighted woman.

Do you want treated wastewater discharged into our shallow upper harbour area, with its limited flushing, for the next 35 years? The proposed site is upstream of the scallop beds in front of Clarks Beach and very close to the popular swimming spot at Clarks Beach and the yacht club.
Action needed:

At the very least, to determine the long-term impact of discharging treated wastewater at this location, it is important that monitoring of scallop beds, seaweed, all marine life and especially sediment, begins immediately. We need long-term benchmarks to ensure there is no long-term negative impact on the overall health of this part of the Manukau Harbour.

The bigger question is, should this treated wastewater even discharge into the harbour? As Dame Nganeko suggested, would a pipe to the Tasman Sea be a more environmentally acceptable option? Check the Watercare documents posted at the link below to see the arguments and proposals for and against. Perhaps it’s not too late to change the Council’s consent. A few committed people can make a difference.

Chair’s 2020 report, Manukau Harbour Restoration Society