COUNCIL STAFF MEMBER WINS NZ INDUSTRIAL WATERS SCIENCE AWARD
Council trade waste officer Mike Sahayam has scooped a top science award in recognition of his work at Palmerston North's Totara Road Wastewater Treatment Plant. The award was recognition for his work on improving the quality of wastewater discharged into the Manawatū River.
Mike, who presented two papers on his work at the Industrial Waters NZ Conference in Christchurch, says if the plant receives cleaner effluent, then it costs less to treat and clean the effluent before it’s discharged. “Ivvvndustries improve their discharge, everyone is responsible.”
The annual conference is for members of the New Zealand Trade and Industrial Waste Forum - a networking organisation designed to get regulatory authorities, utility operators and regional councils all in the same room to discuss issues like trade waste, stormwater, hazardous waste, water reuse and minimisation systems.
Industries play a big part in the quality of effluent discharged and Mike says the Council now has the technology to ‘fingerprint’ trade waste. By identifying the discharge the Council can talk to the industry concerned and get them to improve their waste water discharge.
It’s really the responsibility of every household to ensure what they put down their toilets is kept to the three ‘P’s’ only, poo, pee and paper. Wet wipes and disposable wipes should not be flushed at all." he said. “They cause a lot of network blockages. Households can also help by making sure that fat is not put down sinks as it’s one of the most expensive contaminants to remove from the waste water.” Mike said another ongoing problem was the use of phosphates in laundry powders and dishwashing detergent. “We should all make the effort to go phosphate free when it comes to detergents and laundry products. It would save considerable time and money in removing phosphates when the discharge reaches the waste water treatment plant.”
The 2017 conference will be held in Palmerston North.
Pictured left to right: PNCC treatment plants manager Mike Monaghan, Forum president Geoff Young, Mike Sahayam with his award, Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith and PNCC special projects manager Phil Walker.