Current Projects are the projects Water New Zealand is currently leading.
Supported Projects are the projects Water New Zealand is contributing to but are lead by another organsiation.
Project Proposals provides information related to submissions for new projects stakeholders feel Water New Zealand should be involved in or lead.


Wastewater overflow guidelines 

Wet weather wastewater overflows have flown under the radar of many communities, regulators and wastewater system operators in New Zealand. There is a gap in industry guidance and good practice approaches to address and understand issues.  this project will provide a strategic planning framework to inform cost effective management of wastewater network overflows and performance during wet weather events. The project is being delivered by GHD and funded by the Water Services Managers Group. 

Navigating to net zero: Aotearoa’s water sector low carbon journey 

The Water New Zealand climate group are developing a guideline to assist water service provision on the journey to a low carbon future by outlining steps to mitigate carbon emissions. The development of the guide is being led by Jon Reed of BECA, the chair of the climate special interest group. 

Standardised greenhouse gas emissions determinations for the water sector 

For council’s and council-controlled organisations operating wastewater treatment plants the GHG emissions associated with wastewater and sludge treatment can be a substantial part of their carbon footprint. Currently there is no standardised approach to assess emissions generated by wastewater treatment processes in New Zealand. This project will fill this gap by documenting a standardised approach for determining wastewater treatment process, discharge and sludge greenhouse gas emissions. The project is being delivered by a consortium of consultants from Toitū Envirocare, GHD, Beca, Mott MacDonald and WSP, providing pro-bono work supplemented with funding assistance from the Water Services Managers Group. 

Non-flushable products Reduction 

Blockages and extra maintenance costs caused by the flushing of non-flushable products has become an increasingly expensive problem for wastewater entities. This leads to sewage overflows with flow-on effects of property damage, environmental harm, beach closures, public health risks, and an increase in health and safety risks to workers who now must contend with unblocking sewers on a more frequent basis. That is why Water New Zealand is working with International and Australian counterparts on a joint flushability standard, as well as joining with our members to raise public awareness of this issue. For more information, please contact 

Guidelines for Beneficial use of Organic Materials on Land 

Guidelines for beneficially reusing organic materials on land are under development. The current draft is available at this link. The guidelines will supersede  2003 Guidelines for the Safe Application of Biosolids to Land  and include additional organic material such as animal manures, and other agricultural waste materials, that also contain pathogens and contaminants. Water New Zealand, WasteMINZ, the Centre for Integrated Biowaste Research (CIBR) and the New Zealand Land Treatment Collective (NZLTC), together with the Ministries of Environment, Health and Primary Industries have been collaborating on the delivery of these Guidelines. Notes from the consultation are available at this link. Rob Tinholt of Watercare is managing this project. 

Recently Completed Projects 

Good Practice Guide for Developing Pressure Sewer Systems

This project provides industry guidelines to assist local authorities’ decision making on pressure sewer systems. The Water Services Managers Group funded this guidance material and are lead to believe this is the first guidance or standard specification for pressure sewer systems in New Zealand, the purpose of the guide is to:

  • reduce up-front cost in the development of policies and standards
  • reduce the inconsistency in equipment specifications to reduce cost and complexity for suppliers
  • facilitate the sharing of existing knowledge to improve the effectiveness of pressure sewer systems
  • provide a tool to assist in the selection of pressure, vacuum and gravity sewer reticulation.

Contact Noel Roberts for additional information.

View the document here

Good Practice Guide for Hygiene Practices to Prevent Water Supply Contamination

The scope of this project is to write guidance material so organisations can then develop procedures for: 

  • reservoir disinfection
  • mains disinfection
  • staff hygiene (for staff working on both water and wastewater networks) 
  • exclusion policies for staff with illness (including inoculations)
  • contractor audits.

Water New Zealand has completed a draft hygiene guide and is currently working with the AWWA disinfection chair to peer review the document.

Contact Noel Roberts for additional information.

View the document here. 

The 4 edition of the New Zealand Gravity Pipe Inspection Manual

The 4 edition of the New Zealand Gravity Pipe Inspection Manual incorporates the evolution of pipeline inspection and the changing requirements of the water industry since the publication of the 3 Edition in 2006. The scope of the revision was identified in the report prepared for the ‘Evidence Based Investment Decision Making for 3 Waters Pipe Network Programme’ a joint initiative between Water New Zealand, IPWEA, University of Canterbury Quake Centre titled “Recommendations for the Revision of the New Zealand Pipe Inspection Manual, December 2016” by ProjectMax. This included consideration of:

  • Development of technology
  • Increased sophistication of data analysis
  • Increased emphasis on asset management as a key driver of service and efficiency
  • The creation of other guidelines such as the “Meta-data Standards”
  • Benchmarking and desire to align more closely with other international standards and practices
  • A desire for more, and better, guidelines

This edition observes a change in title of the manual with the addition of ‘Gravity’ to differentiate this manual from pressure pipelines which are intended to be covered in separate publications such as “National Asbestos Cement Pressure Pipe Manual, February 2017”.

The 4 edition makes comprehensive changes intended to improve the ability of the industry to scope the works required, undertake inspections to a consistent and high-quality standard and then interpret the outcomes in relation to the maintenance and/or renewal of the asset in accordance with best asset management practices. The manual has been completely revised and substantially extended to align with the industry’s desire to incorporate more guidance and specific requirements. For the first-time this edition includes a process for the inspection of manholes, laterals and acceptance of new and lined pipes.

Some of the most significant changes have been made to the defect/feature classifications and pipe grading systems that improve the description of defects and more closely align the New Zealand classification system to other international classification standards such as the Australian WSA05: Conduit Inspection Manual and the European EN 13508-2:2003: Conditions of drain and sewer systems outside buildings Part 2: Visual inspection coding and Classification Systems. Care has been taken to ensure that any changes that have been made to the classification system maintain compatibility with the codes in the previous versions of the manual, ensuring that existing condition data captured under the previous editions can continue to be used. The upgraded defect scores provide condition grading that better aligns with assessed condition and enables more meaningful benchmarking.

The overarching intent of the manual remains, as it has since the first edition, to provide asset owners and contractors with a consistent and reliable basis for undertaking inspections of gravity pipeline and for assessing the condition of the pipe for good asset management and renewal planning purposes.

This edition has been produced with the input and collaboration of the New Zealand Water industry, through industry surveys, nationwide workshops, review and feedback from steering committees and feedback from individual councils and industry groups.

This updated manual will provide a powerful tool for the systematic and effective inspection and management of gravity pipelines.

On behalf of the industry ProjectMax and Water New Zealand have already approached and provided known asset management software providers with the revised list of condition assessment codes with the intent that software updates should be available to allow for immediate use of this manual.

The decision was made not split this manual into several documents, as such this is a large download at 47 Mb.

Should you have challenges downloading this document or have questions please contact

View the document here. 

Waste Stabilisation Pond Guidelines 

Water New Zealand is happy to provide the long awaited Good Practice Guide for Waste Stabilisation Ponds: Design and Operation, We believe this guideline will be of great value to the industry and likely to be a long serving legacy document referred back to by members for many years to come. This is a document the authors can be proud of and Water New Zealand would like to acknowledge the many hours of dedicated effort the authors put in to creating this document.

This document is an update of the Ministry of Works Guidelines for Oxidation Ponds 1974. It follows the NZ Water and Wastes Association (NZWWA) 2007 draft Waste Stabilisation Pond Guidelines which were published as a 2nd draft but never finalised and it draws on recent research and practices. It is primarily written for those involved in wastewater treatment pond management and operations: local authorities, regional councils, and wastewater systems operations personnel. As well as management and operations, these guidelines include basic aspects of pond design, planning, cultural acceptance, and regulations. It is assumed that the reader has an understanding of basic wastewater terminology.

Download the documents at

Asbestos Cement (AC) Water Mains Database, Manual and Life Predication Model 

In February 2017 the AC good practice manual was published.

This Good Practice Manual has been developed to assist water infrastructure Asset Managers with understanding the condition and likely remaining life of their Asbestos Cement (AC) pressure pipelines.

Volume 1 outlines the processes and procedures to guide asset managers with a consistent and repeatable approach to AC pressure pipe condition assessment.

Volume 2 of the document provides technical and supporting data.

Working database and Lifetime Prediction Model allows the user to enter new condition assessment results and generate remaining lifetime predictions.

Working database and Lifetime Prediction Model

Chlorine Emergency Management Plans and Guide 

The intent of this project was to provide good practice guidance on the development of Chlorine Emergency Response Plans for water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants.

Additional modelling has been carried out to calculate the theoretical release rates from chlorine drums and bottles while they are in use.

This project has been parked while several issues have been worked through; this includes the Chlorine Institute recent suspension of Pamphlet 74,  Guidance on Estimating the Area Affected by A Chlorine Release.

Since the commencement of this project, a New Zealand chemical supplier has brought in their own overseas expertise to assist their customers to develop site specific chemical hazard management plans.

For more information contact

Good Practice Guides for the Supply of Water Treatment Chemicals 

In 2016 revisions where incorporated into good practice guidelines for the supply of chlorine, Aluminium Sulphate, Hydrated Lime, and Polyelectrolyte. These can be found in  Water New Zealand's Library. Ministry of Health undertook further work to determine chlorate levels in Drinking Water Supplies. This work was completed and incorporated into chlorine guidance document in 2018. The chlorine guideline has been provided as provisional advice until this amendment.

The guidelines provide purchasers, manufacturers, and suppliers with the minimum physical, chemical and testing requirements for drinking water chemicals to meet safe limits. To ensure limits are met, all operators should request a certificate of compliance when purchasing chemicals for use in drinking water, in accordance with processes outlined in the guide. Water New Zealand has an interest in the effective implementation of these guidelines. To assist us monitor this, we would appreciate copies of your certificate of compliance and associated lab results. Please send these to:


Asset Data Standards 

The Building innovation Partnership (BIP) has published Asset Data Standards, being coordinated by the National Technical Standards Committee. . The Codes of Practice (CoP) has been developed by BIP and a broad range of industry partners to set out a minimum viable standard for as-built data for 3 Waters pipe networks.  For further details on the work of the NTSC please contact  

Deep South National Science Challenge 

The Deep South Science Challenge is a research collaboration between several Crown Research Institutes, universities and research providers. The Challenge’s mission is to enable New Zealanders to adapt, manage risk, and thrive in a changing climate. Our Technical information and environment analyst, Lesley Smith chairs the Representative User Group for the challenge, which provides a platform to inform and disseminate relevant research on the impacts and implications of climate change on urban water systems to our members. 

Resilience to Natures Challenges Science Challenge 

Water New Zealand’s technical team is part of the Advisory Group for the  Distributed Infrastructure” work stream of the Resilience Challenge. The challenge aims to develop and apply new scientific solutions to transform our preparedness, response, recovery and “bounce-back” from a wide diversity of natural hazards. The Distributed Infrastructure work stream focuses on improving understanding of the resilience of spatially distributed infrastructure networks to extreme natural hazards, with a focus on incorporating network functionality modelling into this work. More information on the wider challenge can be found at . 

Mā te haumaru ō nga puna wai ō Rākaihautū ka ora mo ake tonu: Increasing flood resilience across Aotearoa  

This five-year NIWA-led research programme will develop a system to map flood hazard consistently across the whole country. It will reveal how our flood risk might change over the next 100 years because of changes to rainfall and sea level from climate change, as well as due to land-use changes. One of the outcomes will be the first, nationally-consistent, flood inundation hazard and risk assessment for Aotearoa New Zealand. Information is available from niwas website.  

BRANZ residential end use project 

In 2015 BRANZ launched an ambitious Residential Water Use Study to provide contemporary information on how, when and where water is used in New Zealand households and investigate how socio-demographic, appliances/water end-uses, housing typologies and sizes and other household and regional characteristics influence water use. The project collected high-resolution water metering data from a range of households around New Zealand. Results were never published due to budget overruns. The Water Services Managers Group has allocated funding to disseminate learnings gathered through the project. 

Project Proposals

Water New Zealand collaborates with a range of stakeholders to deliver projects that pool the collective knowledge of our membership. Projects are funded through; Water New Zealand finances, government funding, project participant fees, or grants.

Most projects are driven by Work Plans of our Special Interest Groups and Water Service Managers Group. Members may also propose projects, where support of the broader membership and outputs benefiting the New Zealand Water industry can be demonstrated.

To submit a project proposal complete the Business Case Proposal Template and email to: