Sunny skies greeted visitors to the first official open day at our Waikato’s Water Treatment Plant, Tuakau on Saturday 10 November.
Around 85 visitors aged from 5 years to 80-plus enjoyed a series of hour-long tours around the plant. The Watercare staff who operate the plant acted a tour guides, not only explaining how equipment worked but adding in many colourful anecdotes along the way. It’s the first-time visitors have had a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Tuakau plant since it opened in 2002.
Watercare process technician Scott Llewelyn with young visitor, Tumairangi Hancy.
Watercare operations controller Stuart Urquhart says the plant uses fine membrane filtration that prevents tiny mciroorganisms such as giardia and cryptosporidium from passing though. This is some of the most sophisticated technology in the country: “Everyone asked really good, thoughtful questions and our team really enjoyed the interaction.
"Most people have no idea about what goes into turning raw water from the Waikato River into 'Aa grade' drinking water that flows from our taps and everyone gained a new perspective about the work and skill involved in achieving that.”
The Tuakau plant produces 150 million litres of treated water per day. Most of the visitors came from the nearby Tuakau and Waiuku communities, although two families travelled more than 60 kilometres from the North Shore. Plant staff were especially pleased to see residents, who live close to the plant.