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Roving Crew To Help Fix Water Quality Issues

Porirua City Council is the first council in the Wellington region to implement a Wellington Water proposal to establish a roving crew, taking a proactive approach to the health of local waterways and timely action when water quality issues arise.

Greater Wellington Regional Council Chair Daran Ponter says Porirua’s allocation of funding on this initiative will see a roving crew fully operational by 1 July 2020.

“There have been ongoing problems with wastewater and stormwater infrastructure across Wellington, as well as cross connections which have caused wastewater to flow into our waterways and subsequently end up in the harbour.

“Porirua City Council is taking action by leading the way in this space, and it’s great to see Wellington Water’s roving crew initiative being considered by other councils across the region. This could show the advantages of a shared service model for water network management,” Cr Ponter says.

Cr Ponter says water quality is an issue that means a lot to residents and can have huge impacts on the environment.

“Urban stream water quality is a major issue throughout the region and the country and this initiative will see dedicated resource and the supporting bylaws that will help crews find and fix problems quickly.”

Greater Wellington’s representative on the Wellington Water Committee Jenny Brash says it is encouraging that a local authority is taking action and it would be good to see others following Porirua City Council’s lead.

“Contaminants entering streams can put human health at risk, resulting in warnings to avoid swimming, and over time they can affect local wildlife and the environment.

“This is why regional council established our Whaitua programme to work with the city councils, mana whenua and the community to find out what the major problems are. The Whaitua Committee’s report found this could make a tremendous difference to the health of our waterways and harbour.

“The roving team will work to detect cross connections and leaks on private properties as well as public land. We expect our own environmental response team to be working closely with this roving team in Porirua.

“We would encourage other councils in the Wellington region to look at this model and the ways they can take advantage of scale and innovation. Water quality is hugely important to all of our daily lives, so we need to work better to ensure any issues are dealt with quickly,” Cr Brash says.

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