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Porirua leads with innovative approach to improving water quality

news - roving crew for waterways

Porirua Stream

Porirua City Council is taking proactive and timely action to address water quality issues in its local waterways. 

The Council has included funding of $250,000 in its draft Annual Plan to implement Wellington Water’s proposal to establish a roving crew for this initiative from 1 July 2020. 

The crew will be established by Wellington Water, a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO), which provides shared water network services to Porirua City Council and five other councils across the Greater Wellington region.

Porirua City Mayor Anita Baker, says this crew will more closely monitor water quality in Porirua’s streams and harbour, and take immediate action to address any identified issues.

“Like other councils in the region, we have ongoing problems with faulty residential cross-connections between wastewater and stormwater systems, which results in wastewater flowing into our waterways and then into the harbour.

“We know this is something our community is really concerned about and we’re serious about taking real action to address this. That means alongside our funding commitment for the roving crew, we will be enacting new bylaws that support their work,” says Mayor Baker.

Wellington Water’s roving crew initiative is being considered by other councils across the region and could potentially be a great example of the advantages of a shared service model for water network management.

“If other Councils in the region also support this new initiative through committed investment, the scale will deliver more efficiencies and benefits for each participating Council than can be achieved alone,” says Mayor Baker.  

With scale, Wellington Water would be in a position to invest in technology to support this work, such as drones that hover over waterways to take temperature readings that signal problems far more quickly than is currently possible.  

“In the meantime, we’re delighted to take the lead in this region in taking tangible action to improve on the situation we’re currently in with our rivers, streams and harbour,” says Mayor Baker. 

28 Feb 2020