Wastewater testing for Whangārei

Published on 01 September 2021

Wastewater testing for COVID-19.

Wastewater testing is an innovative new tool for detecting COVID-19 in New Zealand and our laboratory team at our District’s main wastewater treatment plant at Kioreroa Road is proud to be participating in the programme.

Manatu Hauora (Ministry of Health) is performing tests on our wastewater for signs of COVID-19 infection. Their advice for anyone who has been to a "location of interest" or is experiencing flu-like symptoms is NOT to wait for wastewater testing results but to get tested as soon as possible. You can find detailed information about wastewater testing on Ministry of Health website:

COVID-19 Wastewater testing

Kioreroa Road plant serves about 70% of our District’s population (roughly 70,000 people). It is the only one being tested in our District, because plants have to serve more than 5000 people to qualify for the testing. We are looking into options to serve other plants.

Since July 2021, we have been sending a litre of effluent from our plant to Wellington for testing as instructed by Government.

These ultra-sensitive tests can detect the distinct ribonucleic (RNA) strands that are shed by people carrying the virus, alerting Government to the virus’s presence in the community even where cases have not been identified through individual medical tests.

Testing is no substitute for people who have symptoms getting tested. If you have been in one of the locations of interest or have flu-like symptoms please arrange a test for yourself - the wastewater tests may come too late to stop the virus from spreading and they don't tell us who has the virus.

Find more details for getting tested:

COVID-19 Government website

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