26 Jun 2013

Cleaner beaches promised in $200m upgrade

8:28 pm on 26 June 2013

The mayor of Dunedin says the days of sewage washing up on beaches are over. The promise was made at the official opening of a $200 million overhaul of the city's wastewater system on Wednesday.

Plant manager Brian Turner.

Plant manager Brian Turner. Photo: RNZ

The Tahuna treatment plant on the city's south coast has been overhauled in two stages: first to add a 1km outfall pipe into the ocean, then high-level waste screening and an ultra-violet treatment system.

Mayor Dave Cull said the full upgrade has taken 20 years and cost a lot, but is well worth it because the way the city was fouling its marine environment was not acceptable to the community.

Mr Cull said it is easy to forget that two decades ago, city sewage was still being piped into the Otago Harbour and many spots along the coast - but those days are finished forever.

Plant manager Brian Turner said the upgrade has run about a year late, but for a 20-year project it has come in pretty much on time and on budget.

The chair of the council's infrastructure services committee, Councillor Andrew Noone, said he is delighted with the project, because all the infrastructure is designed for growth and it would set Dunedin up for the next 50 years.

Part of the plant's new treatment facilities.

Part of the plant's new treatment facilities. Photo: RNZ