Update on Warkworth's wastewater connections


Projects enabling growth in Warkworth
To ensure Warkworth’s ageing wastewater treatment plant continues to meet its consent conditions while construction on the area’s new wastewater servicing scheme progresses, we have worked with Auckland Council to adjust the way resource consent applications for new homes are handled in the interim.

New resource consents for development in Warkworth will be subject to conditions related to the timing of these critical infrastructure projects.

Chief strategy and planning officer Priyan Perera says the Warkworth community is expected to grow significantly, and a huge programme of work is underway to overhaul the area’s wastewater services.

“We have a $300m+ infrastructure programme underway that will replace the existing Warkworth Wastewater Treatment Plant – built in 1955 – with a state-of-the-art facility at Snells Beach. Construction is progressing well at the new treatment plant, and we’ve already built the ocean outfall that will be used to discharge highly-treated wastewater.

“We’re close to completing the Lucy Moore Wastewater Pump Station and are currently tunnelling a transfer pipeline that will take Warkworth’s wastewater from the new pump station to the new Snells Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“We expect to have these projects completed and operational in mid to late 2025.

“In the meantime though, Warkworth has continued to grow, and the existing wastewater treatment plant is approaching its maximum capacity. We must ensure the plant continues to meet its resource consent conditions, which are designed to protect the environment.

“Therefore, we’ve asked Auckland Council to temporarily add a condition to resource consents related to building new houses or commercial properties. Essentially, people can be granted a consent to move forward with their project, but they cannot connect to the wastewater network until the new Snells Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant is operational.

“We will be honouring our commitments made through existing consents. This means anyone who has an existing resource consent or building consent – with a current commitment of a public wastewater connection – will still be able to connect when they’re ready, provided all relevant consent conditions have been met.”

We urge anyone seeking to build in or near Warkworth to get in touch with us to discuss your plans before investing in the resource consent process.

The area north of the river is subject to further restrictions as there is limited capacity in the local wastewater network to service growth. This is separate to the capacity issue at the wastewater treatment plant, and therefore it won’t be resolved when the Snells Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant is operational.

A new pipeline – currently in the planning phase – will ease the restrictions in north Warkworth. At this stage there is no firm completion date for this project. Watercare hopes to be in a position to share an update on the intended route of this pipeline with the wider community in late May.

Auckland Council may still grant resource consents for developments north of the river, but with conditions that mean the developments cannot connect to the wastewater network until Snells Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant is operational and the new pipeline is completed.

If anyone has questions about what this may mean for them or their development, please email [email protected]. If your query relates to an existing consent, please include the consent number in the subject line.