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Watercare purification plant gets 'thumbs up'

MEDIA RELEASE

July 23, 2002


Watercare purification plant gets councillors' 'thumbs up'

A visit to Watercare Services’ new Tuakau-based Waikato Water Treatment Plant eased memories of dried up dams in Auckland’s water crisis of 1994 for Auckland City Councillor Bill Christian.

Councillor Christian was the chairman of Auckland City’s water crisis subcommittee.

“After chairing the water crisis subcommittee eight years ago, during the 1994 drought, I am glad to know that history won’t repeat itself,” says Councillor Christian of his visit to the new plant.

“I’ll never forget the sight of dams that were almost dry back then, and it’s good to know this sustainable water source will ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Other Auckland City councillors who visited the site were impressed both in terms of the technology used and the water quality standards achieved. Yesterday’s visit to the Watercare plant, which processes water from the Waikato river, showed councillors how the water is treated, then piped to the company’s Redoubt Rd reservoir in Manukau City.

The plant tour was organised for the council’s works committee, and was also attended by other interested parties. It gave councillors, Auckland City staff and Metrowater board members an opportunity to view the new water treatment plant firsthand.

The recently commissioned plant is currently processing about 50,000 cu m of Waikato river water a day, but it will be processing about 150,000 cu m within five years. Within a year it will be able to process 300,000 cu m of water a year.

Watercare Services chief executive Mark Ford says it is important for Auckland City councillors to see firsthand the steps Watercare is taking to ensure Aucklanders receive water of the highest possible quality – from what is the most sophisticated treatment plant in Australasia.

Councillor Christian says the visit provided an interesting insight into the water quality Aucklanders can expect from this new sustainable water source.

“This treatment plant visit has left me absolutely impressed. It shows what can be achieved with the combined use of the right technology and ingenuity. Watercare is to be congratulated for the big effort they’ve put into sorting the future water supply of the wider Auckland region.”

Councillor Christian says the water quality testing programme has demonstrated that the treated water is of a high quality: “The water treatment processes are of such high standard that I understand Watercare is thinking of using similar processes at their other reservoirs in the Waitakeres and at Hunua.

The treatment process uses a series of membrane and charcoal filters, to remove contaminants.

Cr Christian says as well as getting a big tick from all health authorities involved in water quality testing, the plant also got a seal of approval from all the councillors at the site visit.

“To put the product to the test, we were offered newly-treated water. I drank three glasses and would highly recommend it to everyone else.”

Fellow councillors Penny Sefuiva, Glenda Fryer, Graeme Mulholland and Bruce Hucker sampled the water and agreed with Cr Christians opinion of its quality.

ENDS

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