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Seafood should not be collected along the coast from the New Plymouth Wastewater Treatment Plant after the weekend’s high rainfall caused overflows of effluent.
Manager Water and Wastes Brent Manning says as a precautionary measure, he advises against the collection of seafood or shellfish from the area adjacent to the outfall and the Mangati Reef for the next two weeks.
“The downpours have pushed very high flows through the treatment plant which has resulted in sludge – the excess micro-organisms that feed on wastewater – to be washed out to sea,” he says.
“Although the rainfall has stopped we’re still getting high flows through the plant, which will likely continue for the next couple of days. We’re doing everything we can to contain it.”
Warning signs advising the public will be erected today.
Mr Manning says this situation is an example of why the Wai Taatari project, which will improve the efficiency of the treatment plant, is so important.
“We’re now experiencing one of those events that the plant can’t handle without the upgrade to the aeration basins,” he says.
Work to upgrade the first aeration basin will begin in October.