Porirua plant operator apologises after UV filter switched off for 18 hours

An ultraviolet light at Poriruas wastewater treatment plant was off for 18 hours, but authorities say the health risk is very small.
On Tuesday Wellington Water chief executive Colin Crampton said it identified the UV treatment was not running for 18 hours since 3pm on Monday.

It was reactivated as soon as it was discovered to be off.

The risk to health from this bypass is very small, as the tidal current will dilute and disperse the un-UV-treated wastewater. We are taking samples for water quality testing in the Ttahi Bay area, he said.


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Ultraviolet light disinfection is the final stage of treating wastewater. It destroys remaining bacteria and viruses before the wastewater is discharged to the sea.

Wellington Water is taking this incident extremely seriously and has launched an investigation into what happened in conjunction with the operator of the plant, Veolia, he said.

In a statement, Veolia apologised to Ngti Toa Rangatira, the community, the council and all that had been affected by the UV outage.

We have launched a full investigation into the incident, and will work closely with Wellington Water and local authorities to ensure the community is kept informed of any updates as they occur, said Veolia country director Alex Lagny.

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