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Court approves request for compensation

Media Release

26 June 2014

For immediate release

Court approves request for compensation

Porirua City Council has been ordered to pay $39,375 in environmental restitution following an incident where effluent was discharged from a Porirua waste water treatment plant.

The sentence was passed down by the Wellington District Court today following an incident where partially treated waste water overflowed from an aeration basin at the Porirua City Council Waste Water Treatment Plant and ponded on site before entering a stream and coastal marine area.

Great Wellington Regional Council’s Manager Environmental Regulation Alistair Cross says the court’s decision to approve the request for restitution is an appropriate outcome for the community and the environment.

“The matter has been aptly addressed by Porirua City Council and by the court. A donation will be made to the Takapuwahia Stream Restoration Project. This project, which is being coordinated by Ngati Toa Rangatira aims to see an improvement in the quality of water flowing into the Porirua Harbour so, the money will remain in the community where the incident occurred,” Mr Cross says.

As well as the donation, a sum of $2,500 will be paid GWRC to offset costs.

The incident occurred in October 2013 when heavy rain and a broken sewer pipe saw high flows into the waste water treatment plant at Titahi Bay. This happened while the plant’s capacity was already reduced due to routine maintenance. A blocked grate in the aeration basin added to the problem and waste overflowed into a stream and out into Te Rua Bay.

Porirua City Council has since installed an alarm that will give advance warning of potential overflows, has undertaken repairs and is undertaking extensive improvements at the plant.

“A combination of factors led to this unfortunate and unprecedented incident. Thankfully the environment will recover from the set back and a very worthy environmental project will benefit from the financial compensation paid by Porirua City Council,” Mr Cross says.


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