Skip to main content

Marton to Bulls Wastewater Centralisation Project

The aim of this project is to improve the current Marton and Bulls wastewater network. We want to provide the community with a more efficient, effective, and reliable network from start to finish (collection, treatment and disposal), that is also culturally sensitive and environmentally responsible.

The evolving regulatory requirements and ongoing sustainable compliance is challenging, and for a while progress was stalled. We reviewed and reset the project in February 2023, and since then steady progress has been made.

Project Updates

25 January 2024

A new project team has been formed, which is a collaboration between Rangitīkei District Council, mana whenua, our consultants Good Earth Matters, and WSP NZ. This project team is tasked with ensuring that the consents required for this project meet the current requirements for the treatment and discharge of wastewater.

We have to be careful not to jump to solutions too quickly – the consenting process requires the applicant to look at all possible options for discharge and evaluate them including their effects on receiving environments.

Once we have looked at all options, the team can develop the “best practical option” (BPO) – the consent application will need to include all options that were looked at and how we ended up with the BPO.

The key for this project is the partnership with our local iwi to be able to have direct cultural expert input on a regular basis. Further we will seek feedback from the community throughout the process.

Initially when the project started, it was proposed that land discharge would lead to the best cultural and environmental outcomes. However, finding available, suitable, affordable land in the right location is not easy. Also, land discharge requires a lot of evidence and reports that show how the receiving environment will be affected by treated wastewater. In most land irrigation cases, Horizons Regional Council will restrict the number of months that irrigation can take place, due to the normally higher water content in the soil over winter.

If this were to happen, the treated wastewater either needs to be discharged somewhere else or held in a storage pond (which would have to be huge based on the daily volume of wastewater in Marton and Bulls) until the ground saturation reduces.

Before we can start using the pipeline, all details need to be worked out where the discharge will go and what upgrades to the treatment plant may be required.

To complete this project, we need to get more than six different resource consents and they all have to fit together logically and perfectly like a puzzle complementing each other and telling the whole story of what needs to happen for both treatment plants and the discharges.

12 April 2022

The Marton to Bulls wastewater centralisation scope includes 4 subprojects:

  • Construction of a wastewater transfer pipeline from Marton Wastewater Treatment Plant to Bulls Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Purchase land in the Bulls area to dispose of treated wastewater and install irrigation infrastructure
  • Consenting for the activities
  • Upgrades to Marton and Bulls treatment plants.

The purpose of this project is to take treated wastewater out of our waterways by conveying it from Marton to Bulls, once here it will be discharged to land. Land is yet to be sourced.

The construction of the pipeline (subproject A) is underway. Fulton Hogan was the successful tenderer for the two-stage procurement, and RDC took the opportunity to bundle multiple works together. After Fulton Hogan has completed the Marton to Bulls pipeline, they’ll deliver the Bulls Water Rising Main and Taihape Wastewater Rising Main and Pump Station.

For the Marton to Bulls Wastewater Centralisation project, RDC has set aside $25m for the delivery of all sub-projects. We received $3.88m towards the pipeline construction costs from the Department of Internal Affairs as part of the three waters stimulus funding.

The entire programme and sub-projects are expected to be completed in 2025.

13 July

Council’s Project Management Office (PMO) ran the first stage of a two-stage procurement process for a contractor to build the 14km pipeline between Marton and Bulls to transfer treated wastewater. The contractor will also build the water rising main in Bulls and the wastewater rising main in Taihape. The PMO was delighted to receive nine submissions, which were all of a high quality.

Four contractors have been shortlisted, and they will receive the tender documents for the final stage of procurement within the next month. Construction is expected to start in late 2021.

Marton to Bulls wastewater treatment route Marton to Bulls wastewater treatment route

New pipeline route between Marton and Bulls