About 2pm on Tuesday (2 July 2019), a water main break caused a large washout on the lakefront in Taupō. About an hour later the footpath collapsed and took out a wastewater pipe causing wastewater to enter the lake. Taupō District Council successfully diverted waste back into their treatment station.
Taupō District Council is leading the response to this incident. For more information, please visit the Taupō District Council website(external link) or follow the updates on the district council's Facebook page(external link).
Below is information from Waikato Regional Council on our response to the Taupō wastewater and sewage discharge.
Current at 0930h: Wednesday 24 July 2019
Water quality: Waikato River
Water quality: Lake Taupō
NIWA has analysed the macroinvertebrate samples collected by the regional council. From our first glance at these results there is no indication of any adverse effects on lake bed life. Indeed, there appears to be higher numbers of invertebrates at the site immediately below the discharge. This could be associated with the input of organic material providing a food source.
Lakebed sediment sampling
Sediment sampling was also carried out at five lakebed sites on the Lake Taupō foreshore on 10 July. While E.coli bacteria was present in most of the samples, the levels were extremely low and not indicative of a significant load of sewage. There were also very low levels of ‘total organic carbon’, which is again indicative of the absence of a ‘reservoir’ of spill material at the assessed lakebed sites.
We are working with Tūwharetoa Māori Trust Board to determine what additional monitoring will be required.