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Definition of Wastewater Terms

Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE): 

All resource consent applications must be accompanied by an Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE). A number of investigations have been undertaken to provide information for the AEE. The reports on these investigations are support documents for the AEE. An AEE is an objective report about the effects on the environment of proposed activities that require resource consent. The report must identify whether there are any potential adverse effects and whether they are acceptable or need to be avoided, remedied or mitigated.

Aquatic life:

Living organisms including fish, mammals, plants, and shellfish found in the ocean, harbour, streams and underground water

Coastal zone:

The area from mean high water springs to a distance of 400m out into the ocean


The Resource Management Act 1991 defines conditions to include terms, standards, restrictions and prohibitions. Conditions are imposed on resource consents to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects.

Consent authorities:

Regional and district councils, and city councils such as Environment Bay of Plenty and Tauranga City Council whose permission is required to carry out an activity for which a resource consent is required

Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) - He Pukapuka Whakamaramara:

An historical and contemporary explanation of the effects that the Wastewater System has had on Nga Potiki and tangata whenua in general and those that are envisaged in the future


The last section of the ocean outfall that has a number of openings called ports through which the treated wastewater is discharged


The branch of biology concerned with the various relations of animals and plants to one another and to their surrounding environment


The RMA provides a definition of effects. The definition includes any effects regardless of scale, intensity, duration or frequency. Effects can be positive or negative; temporary or permanent; past, present or future; cumulative (arising over time or in combination with other effects); and can be any potential effect of high probability or low probability which has a high potential impact


The RMA provides a definition of the environment. This definition is very broad. It includes ecosystems including people and communities and all natural resources along with the social, economic, aesthetic and cultural conditions which relate to these matters


Sub Tribe





Marine life:

Living organisms including fish, mammals, plant and shellfish found in the ocean and harbour


The life force believed to be possessed by all things whether animate or inanimate


The branch of biology studying minute organisms, or microbes, such as bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa

Natural resources:

The RMA defines natural resource to include land, water, air, soil and all forms of plants and animals


A chemical made up of nitrogen and oxygen. Commonly referred to as a nutrient which stimulates growth


Disease causing germ (micro organism)

Reclaimed water:

Highly treated wastewater from the Chapel Street Wastewater Treatment Plant that is used for irrigation

Resource consents:

Are permissions granted under the Resource Management Act 1991 to use or develop natural or physical resources and/or carry out activities that affect the environment

Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA):

The legislation that Parliament has put in place to manage and protect New Zealand's environment


Is mainly liquid waste containing some solids produced by humans


Is the system of sewers that conveys wastewater to a treatment plant or disposal point


Solid material separated out from the wastewater during treatment

Tangata whenua:

The Maori people associated with a particular area or district. Tangata whenua usually consist of tribes or iwi, which are further organised into sub-tribes or hapu. Inside the iwi and hapu there are also various tribal organisations such as runanga, which sometimes represent their interests in such areas as education, environment, fisheries, or health, while various Trusts and Incorporations are often established to represent Maori land interests

Trace metals:

Are metals in extremely small quantities, almost at the molecular level, that reside in or are present in animal and plant cells and tissue

Trade waste:

Wastewater from industry

Treated wastewater:

Wastewater that has been processed through either the Chapel Street Wastewater Treatment Plant or the Te Maunga Wastewater Treatment Plant

UV disinfection:

Use of ultra violet light irradiation to disinfect the wastewater


The mix of domestic sewage and industrial wastewater, and unfortunately in wet weather some rainwater and ground water. Industrial wastewater is also referred to as trade waste

Wastewater System:

The system of pipes, treatment plants, oxidation ponds and wetlands, pump stations and discharge points that handle Tauranga City Council's wastewater system


Wastewater Treatment Plant


Last Reviewed: 11/04/2017