Wastewater benefits start flowing Pump contract the next step

Mayor opens new aeration system, saying it took "enormous expertise"

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 11:30 21/03/2014
andrew judd

Mayor Andrew Judd opened the new aeration system

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The first step in upgrading New Plymouth's wastewater system was officially opened yesterday.

The $11.5 million Wai Taatari (filtered water) project enabled the wastewater treatment plant's two existing aeration basins to be more efficient, and should last for the next 30 years.

Mayor Andrew Judd opened the new aeration system, saying it took "enormous expertise" to develop an efficient treatment system that kept the environment healthy.

Waste and water manager Mark Hall said this was the biggest process change to the plant since it opened in 1984.

The next step in the project, to get Waitara's wastewater treated in New Plymouth, would begin in the next few weeks.

The council was at the point of awarding the tender to convert the Waitara wastewater treatment plant into a pump station, Mr Hall said.

The station would pump all of Waitara's wastewater down the 13.6km sewer pipeline, which was completed at the end of 2012, to New Plymouth.

The conversion would take about 12 to 14 weeks, Mr Hall said.

It was expected treated wastewater would stop being discharged to the sea through the Waitara outfall in August.

At this stage the cost of building the pipeline and the Waitara treatment plant conversion was $9.8 million, which was under the original $12.9m budget, Mr Hall said.

During the conversion, signs along the coastline would warn against collecting shellfish.

"When the entire system is up and running there will be no more treated water discharged off Waitara. Instead we'll have Waitara's wastewater joining New Plymouth's and Oakura's in being treated at New Plymouth with the treated water being discharged to sea through the Waiwhakaiho outfall."

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