Fonterra – Waitoa Treated Water Plant Upgrade
Case Study

Fonterra – Waitoa Treated Water Plant Upgrade

Case Study

Fonterra – Waitoa Treated Water Plant Upgrade

“TEG Projects help Fonterra safeguard opportunities for future generations by providing healthy freshwater”

Fonterra engaged TEG Projects to project manage the Waitoa Treated Water Plant Upgrade. The potable water from this plant needed to achieve AsureQuality and National Drinking Water standards, and the plant needed increased water treatment and storage capability.


    Client Information

    Fonterra plays an integral part in the dairy industry throughout New Zealand, at both an environmental and community level. Healthy freshwater is integral to its operations, and surrounding community.


    Waitoa Treatment Plant’s old filtration system required upgrading to achieve greater output and efficiency, as well as a higher standard of potable water, and greater filtration system reliability.

    As well as this being important for the factory, it was also essential for the surrounding community who does not have a council supplied water source, and relies solely on the Waitoa Water Treatment Plant for clean drinking water. 

    The potable water needed to continue to achieve AsureQuality and National Drinking Water standards, as well as increasing its water treatment capability by 50% and storage capacity from 330m3 to 450m3.

    This was a $7 million upgrade, with a medium to long term undertaking upwards of 18 months.

    Why TEG Projects

    TEG Projects has an ongoing relationship with Fonterra to manage their complex projects. In this instance TEG Projects worked alongside another company who brought with them thorough technical potable water expertise.


    TEG Projects was engaged to assist Fonterra’s Project Manager throughout the life cycle of the project.

    First the brownfield site required preparation for the new filtration system. This was an under-utilised processing hall, containing a redundant nano filtration plant. It was necessary that the disused equipment was removed, including all pipework, processing equipment, and pumps, as well as the electrical and software elements. Then the hall needed reflooring and painting.

    To achieve AsureQuality and National Drinking Water standards, increase output of clean water and storage capacity the existing treatment plant needed to be fully replaced. 

    As well as upgrading automation for water management and distribution to the site, the sand filtration system needed to be removed and a new membrane based filtration system installed. 

    The membrane chosen was a Memcor membrane, which works by forcing dirty water through a fine filter at high pressure, clean water comes out the other side. The system provides improved performance, and superior filtration at a lower ongoing cost.

    As part of the process, a flushing system was also installed to keep the filtration membrane clean, functional and efficient. 

    After the new filtration system was installed, the old sand filters needed to be demolished. This was a complicated undertaking as two 300mm steam and condensate pipes which supplied another part of the site, were supported by the structure of the redundant sand filters. As this steam supply couldn’t be interrupted by the demolition,  new supports first had to be constructed in the narrow space between the sand filter building and an existing workshop. This required a complex engineering solution overseen by TEG Projects engineers. 

    After commissioning, TEG Projects continued to work closely with Fonterra throughout  the handover stage. This part of the process formed a significant component as the upgrade considerably modernized operations and required a relearning of systems and processes, and a redevelopment of work streams for the plant and its operators.


    The upgrade resulted in continuing to meet the AsureQuality and National Drinking Water standards but with a  50% increase in capacity, and a water storage capability increase from 330m3 to 450m3. 

    As well as this Fonterra now has a considerably modernised filtration plant with a consistently  reliable output. Clean water availability and reliability increased for both the factory, and surrounding community and businesses.