Like a lot of infrastructure in New Zealand, Palmerston North’s wastewater system is aging. At the same time it’s under increased pressure from a growing population, and higher expectations around discharge standards and river water quality.

What do you think is important in the treatment and discharge Palmerston North's wastewater? Visit the Nature Calls website to find out about different options, and how these are being assessed and ranked; anyone can make a submission.

ENM is working on a submission on behalf of the network, which will be available via this page once it is finished. Click the link to the right to read the recommendations of ENM member group the Water Protection Society.

The Nature Calls project began in 2018 by investigating the full range of options for managing, treating and discharging wastewater. Palmerston North City Council commissioned specialist consultants to work with them to identify a longlist of possible options. These were assessed and narrowed down to a shortlist of six options. The deadline for submissions was extended to 10 July 2020.

  1. All treated wastewater is discharged to the Manawatū River, with improved removal of phosphorus and nitrogen.
  2. Treated wastewater discharged to Manawatū River at Tōtara Road, and below Opiki bridge, with some land application.
  3. Treated wastewater applied to land, with discharge to the Manawatū River in exceptional circumstances.
  4. Treated wastewater applied to land, with some discharge to the Manawatū River.
  5. Discharge to groundwater via infiltration, with land application in the drier months of the year.
  6. Most of the treated wastewater discharged to the ocean, and some applied to land.