Lyall Bay Funkwater

I’ve been wondering about the logic of surfing @ Lyall Bay with a storm water drain discharging funkwater from the surrounding industrial area. The swell is usually running around the time of a southerly storm – so is the drain due to the associated rainfall…

I’d noted that I was getting sick sometimes after surfing… Checking about I found I wasn’t the only one. However I’d assumed that the sewerage treatment plants, except for some notable outflows of the floating bacteria holders (AWI crops up with its ”media beads” 09/12/2002 in this complaint and again with “thousands of plastic beads” 26 Nov 2000 in this significant pollution incident), probably weren’t to blame for this… until I found the following from a while back with some comments regarding the council applying for resource consent to release only partially-treated sewage during storms:

“Someone” did grant the WCC this consent


On 20 September 2004, Wellington City Council received consent under the Resource Management Act for these occasional discharges.

Consent only applies when the quantity of wastewater arriving at the Moa Point Wastewater Treatment Plant exceeds 3,000 litres per second (the plant’s capacity for the secondary stage of treatment).

The consent expires on 8 January 2008 when the overall resource consent for discharges from the ocean outfall pipe will expire. At that time all aspects of the ocean outfall pipe discharges will be reviewed and a new consent sought.


The site (at the time of writing) lists an 8 Jan 2008 expiry - though clearly this discharge continues, as the WCC logs discharges as recent as May 2008 (

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