Re­cy­cled sewage a hot topic

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JAMES PASLEY

Auck­lan­ders say they won’t drink treated sewage un­less na­tional wa­ter pri­or­i­ties change.

Last month Raveen Jadu­ram, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Water­care, said the coun­cil con­trolled or­gan­i­sa­tion was look­ing at the pos­si­bil­ity of reusing treated sewage for ei­ther hu­man con­sump­tion, in­dus­try, agri­cul­ture or rein­jec­tion into the aquifer.

Sim­i­lar ac­tion was posited in the Aus­tralian city of Toowoomba, but res­i­dents re­jected the idea be­cause of the ‘‘yuck fac­tor’’.

The main reser­va­tions of mem­bers on New Zealand com­mu­nity so­cial me­dia site Neigh­bourly wasn’t that drink­ing re­cy­cled sewage was gross, but that it should not hap­pen while New Zealand’s clean wa­ter was bot­tled and sold over­seas.

In Waikato Coca-Cola ex­tracts wa­ter for its Pump Brand. In Can­ter­bury Ja­panese com­pany Sun­tory Hold­ings ex­tracts wa­ter for its H2Go and Mi­zone drinks.

Oravida bot­tles wa­ter in the Bay of Plenty, a Lat­vian com­pany sells wa­ter un­der the Ton­gariro Springs brand and Ki­waii wa­ter, sold in 40 US states, bot­tles Hawke’s Bay wa­ter.

In Jack­son Bay on the South Is­land’s west coast, con­sent was given in May for wa­ter ex­port com­pany Okuru to ex­port 800,000 tonnes of wa­ter monthly, de­spite fierce op­po­si­tion.

Glen­dowie res­i­dent Kathy Weston asked why Auck­lan­ders might have to drink sewage when the coun­try’s clean spring wa­ter was go­ing cheap to com­pa­nies to sell over­seas.

‘‘Fresh wa­ter is the world’s most pre­cious com­mod­ity and we give it away so we can drink sewage,’’ Weston said.

Eller­slie res­i­dent Lor­raine Fairest said she wouldn’t drink treated sewage, but she would be happy to use it for clean­ing and wa­ter­ing the gar­den.

‘‘One of the ad­van­tages of liv­ing in New Zealand is good qual­ity drink­ing wa­ter made by na­ture, not by man,’’ Fairest said.

Hills­bor­ough res­i­dent Peter Crow­ley said he wasn’t will­ing to drink treated sewage.

‘‘Not while we are giv­ing our crys­tal clear wa­ter away to big busi­ness who are ex­port­ing it and mak­ing a for­tune.’’

One­hunga res­i­dent Christina Sa­jew­icz said she would drink it - if she was dy­ing of thirst.

‘‘If we had to re­use dirty wa­ter, it should be for wash­ing our­selves, laun­dry and flush­ing toi­lets,’’ Sa­jew­icz said.


Water­care chief ex­ec­u­tive Raveen Jadu­ram says the fu­ture of treated sewage is chang­ing.

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