There has been media interest in the prosecution of Wellington Water relating to the dry weather discharge from Porirua Wastewater Treatment Plant in October 2018.
We’re deeply sorry for the discharge and the impact that had on mana whenua, the wider community and the environment.
Since taking over the operation of the treatment plant, Wellington Water staff have worked hard to improve its performance. In that time we have improved the quality of treated water being discharged back to the environment, as well as the capacity of the plant to treat water. So this event was particularly disappointing.
As a result of the event we have improved our processes, staff training and maintenance procedures and installed a new alarm systems. In addition, with the completion of a tender process begun before this event occurred, the plant is now being operated by Veolia, a world leader in water treatment plant management and operator of Wellington city’s Moa Point Treatment plant.
We have pleaded guilty to a charge under the Resource Management Act of permitting a contaminant to be discharged into water, and at this stage sentencing is set for 13 September 2019.
We are working with Ngāti Toa and Greater Wellington Regional Council on options to apply funds from any fine imposed by the court towards supporting environmental initiatives in Porirua.