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Published: 2009-09-09 00:00:00

Environment Waikato’s regulatory committee has formally commended Hamilton City Council for the way it runs the city’s wastewater treatment plant in Pukete Rd.

The site treats all of Hamilton’s reticulated wastewater, which typically amounts to 40 million litres a day, and the discharge from the site is the second largest treated wastewater discharge in the region after Carter Holt Harvey’s Kinleith operation.

Effluent treated at Pukete is discharged into the Waikato River.

HCC was granted a 20-year consent for the discharge in September 2007 and EW’s 2007-08 compliance audit completed in June this year was the first to be carried out since then.

A report to yesterday’s regulatory committee meeting said an EW staff audit found the site to be in overall high compliance and recommended that the HCC works and services treatment plants unit be formally commended.

"EW and its staff wanted to acknowledge the professionalism and commitment of HCC team members in ensuring that the plant operates within consent limits and that HCC meets its environmental responsibilities," EW utilities monitoring officer Jane Leeder said today.

The report to the committee said the only reason the HCC team didn’t receive a full compliance rating was the effects of the extreme rainfall events that were experienced during June 2008.

The report also noted HCC is carrying out a major capacity upgrade at the plant and this will ensure even more efficient management of wastewater at the site.

The committee heard from HCC’s water and wastewater treatment plants manager Tim Harty who said his council planned to spend $24 million over five years upgrading the plant.

This was being done to ensure future compliance with the consent conditions, which require progressively higher standards, as well as ensuring the plant can meet the growing wastewater demands of a growing city.