Media Release: Monday 15 February 2016
Mangaore Stream sewage video a ‘complete distortion of facts’
Horowhenua District Council reassures the public that a video circulating on social media claiming to show raw sewage in
a Shannon stream is a complete distortion of facts.
The video was posted on Facebook after an individual entered the Shannon Wastewater Treatment Plant without
authorisation last Wednesday.
“We realise this video does look disturbing, but the footage and commentary claiming that raw sewage is entering the
Mangaore Stream, with fresh toilet paper floating on top, is a complete distortion of facts,” Horowhenua District
Council’s Chief Executive David Clapperton said.
“This video does not make sense and exists to create misguidance. It appears that the toilet paper seen in the video is
a result of third-party action that neither Council nor its contractors are aware of or have any control over. The
green-brown appearance is actually naturally-occurring algae, which is a good thing as it shows the wastewater is
Mr Clapperton explained that the town’s waste enters the Shannon Wastewater Treatment Plant where its goes through a
series of treatment and screening processes before exiting into Stansells Drain as treated wastewater over 40 days
“So, how can fresh toilet paper end up in the stream after floating for over 40 days in a pond covering 2.6 hectares,
travelling through a fine mechanical screen, and with an aerator, baffles, and constructed wetland?” Mr Clapperton said.
Work is well-underway on a $3 million-plus Council project to remove over 80 percent of the treated wastewater discharge
entering the river and instead irrigate it over Council-owned farmland. The remaining treated wastewater would travel
through a high-rated land passage filtering system and gradually into Stansells Drain which leads into the Mangaore
Stream. This would occur only when the Manawatu River was in flood, on average about 10 days per year.
At around the same time the video was released Horizons Regional Council received a complaint from the public about the
project and they are now investigating to ensure Horowhenua District Council is meeting the conditions of its consent.
Mr Clapperton said that had the project been allowed to proceed without protests and other interferences by some
misinformed individuals and groups, the Council could have already stopped the 100% discharge into the drain and now be
applying it to land.
“This can only be achieved if the Council is supported in its genuine endeavours. The more bottlenecks that are put in
the way to undermine and obstruct the progress of this project, the less likely that the desired outcomes to clean-up
the river can be achieved,” Mr Clapperton said.
The Council is complying with the consents referred to and Horizons Regional Council is fully informed and aware of the
works that is taking place.
Horowhenua District Council is a signatory to the Manawatu River Leaders Accord and is one of the councils leading the
way in work towards removing wastewater discharges from its waterways.