Urenui River and sewage containment

River state

Testing has found elevated levels of bacteria in the stormwater discharging onto the mudflats due to discharges from septic tanks in the Urenui township.

Due to high levels of E. coli bacteria, there is no shellfish gathering within the estuary and Urenui River mouth. No walking or swimming on the mudflats.

In addition, Ngāti Mutunga has placed a rāhui on the awa from Okoki Pā (Te Rangi Hiroa/Sir Peter Buck Memorial) to the river mouth. This prevents all water recreation (including swimming, shellfish gathering and fishing).

Rahui notice

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Project update

Urenui has a beautiful environment and we are working with the community to keep it that way. Unfortunately, monitoring of Urenui River has confirmed the presence of harmful bacteria from household wastewater systems in the area of the mud flats, prompting health warnings.

Since 2019, NPDC has been working with Ngāti Mutunga, Taranaki Regional Council (TRC), Taranaki District Health Board (TDHB )and property owners, and our combined efforts have reduced the amount of harmful bacteria in the river. We are working on tracking down the remaining sources of contamination and encouraging property owners and occupiers to keep their septic tank systems regularly maintained.

Useful information and tips on how to keep your septic tank system healthy are on our webpage Maintaining a septic tank system

In addition, NPDC is working on our own assets in Urenui.

  • The septic tanks in the public toilets are being  upgraded to suit their increased use and to also provide additional capacity for expected future growth. (The toilets will also have improved lighting and access.)
  • We are investigating wastewater volumes at both Urenui and Onaero campgrounds, and work is planned in 2022 to reduce the amount of groundwater getting into the pipes.