An ongoing issue at the Martinborough Wastewater Treatment Plant has again resulted in a discharge of partially treated wastewater into the Ruamahanga River. This occurred on Monday 27 January between 9.20am and 11.30am.
Wellington Water is sorry that this has happened again and for the delay in reporting the issue to the Council. Action is now under way to get in front of this issue and to improve protocols in communicating to both Council and customers.
Although discharging treated wastewater to the river is a consented activity under the right conditions, when the river is low these types of discharges are invariably a breach of resource consent.
The Martinborough Wastewater Treatment Plant will have a review in order for potential points of operational failure to be identified ahead of time; this work has been prioritised for the next few days.
This discharge event and the previous one involved issues with the irrigator, which meant that discharge to adjacent land didn’t happen. With the storage ponds being full and no discharge to land possible, the designed contingency is discharge to the river, which we know is unacceptable.
Authorities at Regional Public Health and Greater Wellington Regional Council as well as iwi and community liaison group representatives have been notified.
The first incident occurred between 9.45pm on Tuesday 14 January and 10am Wednesday 15 January 2020, this resulted in 90,000 litres of partially treated wastewater discharged to the Ruamahanga River.
This latest incident resulted in 100,000 litres of partially treated wastewater discharged to the river, as well as 300,000 litres of fully treated wastewater.
Due to the dilution factor in the river, it’s understood that public health and recreational water user risk from all discharges was negligible.
However, Wellington Water is committed to doing better with how wastewater discharges enter the environment and are working on options for this. A full incident response and investigation of the outcomes of this work will be released when completed.
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While walking around the neighbourhood to curb the boredom recently I noticed lots of little pieces of plastic &metal lying on the footpaths and in the gutter. Today I decided to take a bag & a glove on our stroll in case I saw anymore...we only walked about 2kms & after 1km this bag was full!! 😔👎 I'd love for this to catch on across NZ, how about we all try it while we're strolling our streets? #tidyourneighbourhoods #covid_19 #dailywalks #stayinyourneighbourhood All you need is a bag/bucket/bowl & a glove, you could even put those empty bread bags to use! 🤞 @ Birchville
Dear neighbours and NZ Gardener family,
Our April issue should be with our subscribers now and available in supermarkets and service stations (having been distributed prior to the lockdown restrictions). Whether or not it's on the stands yet is a bit patchy ... but then the incredibly brave and hard-working supermarket staff have quite a bit on their plate right now so I understand if there is a delay! Please, please, please everyone ... don't go out to buy it! Normally of course we love you buying NZ Gardener but right now it's far more important that you stay home and stay safe. (You can buy a copy with your online shopping though! That's safe and I think we are all in the market for something uplifting to read right now).
In this issue we offered to send out sweet pea seeds to any reader who sent us a SSAE. Just to reassure you, we will still send out sweet pea seeds to any reader who is keen to participate. We are just not quite sure when! Ignore the dates in the magazine of when you needed to send the envelope in by - that has been indefinitely extended. But we cannot wait to send you the seed and for those flowers to bloom as by then we will be well through this or even have it behind us. And keep letting us know what you are sowing and growing, send in pictures of your harvest, your flowers or what you are sharing.
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