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Open day to lift lid on MDC post-flush processes

Masterton District Council’s Homebush wastewater treatment plant. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Masterton District Council is giving people the opportunity to get a closer look of what happens after they flush the toilet, or pull the plug, with an open day at the Homebush Wastewater Treatment Plant on Saturday, March 23.

Free guided bus tours of the plant will give a behind-the-scenes look at the whole post-flush process and demonstrate how council is treating wastewater.

Masterton District Council assets and operations manager David Hopman said the tours would provide an insight into what is a highly technical process.

“Masterton has a wastewater treatment plant that we believe the whole community should be proud of, so we are very happy to show it off,” he says.

The council’s vision for wastewater is that it is managed in an environmentally and financially sound way for the community.

The upgraded plant became fully operational in 2015, and disposal of treated wastewater to land is a key feature, Hopman said.

This is done through a border strip irrigation system where grass crops are planted on the strips and then harvested for baleage.

Treated wastewater will also be irrigated to neighbouring council-owned land leased for crop production.

“By seeing the system in action people will be able to appreciate that treated wastewater is a resource and safe to use in this way,” Hopman said.

Homebush also discharges treated wastewater to the river, but only during times of high flow, a requirement of council’s resource consent. There is a live app on the council’s website showing when it is discharging to the river.

The open day will run from 9am and 4pm. Guided tours will take about 45 minutes, with buses leaving on the hour — the maximum group size is 20 people.

The council says bookings for the tours are essential, with numbers limited.

These can be made by emailing [email protected], and putting HOMEBUSH in the subject line, indicating a preference for a morning or afternoon tour. Bookings can also be made by calling 06 370 6300.

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