Fire and Emergency Specialist Response team members attended an emergency rescue drill at Watercare’s Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant in October and their visit was outlined in a Portal news story.

This visit was followed up with another one when Senior Technical Rescue Specialist Rob McDowall, Group Manager Chris Delfos, and National Infrastructure Advisor Jon Harris visited the site on 21 December. Watercare was keen to get feedback on the procedures used in the emergency rescue drill and take the team on a tour of the plant.

Jon said that Watercare’s Production Manager Jon Piggot gave the team a tour of the Reactor Clarifiers (RCs), where the biological treatment of wastewater occurs.

‘The RC is six metres deep and 77 metres in diameter and can hold 31.3 million litres of effluent. If a worker was injured inside an empty RC, it could be a difficult scenario to rescue them from the tank.

‘Over the next few months, repairs will be held in one of the tanks and Watercare has invited us to conduct training alongside their employees in the empty tank. They are planning to schedule this for all watches in February and March 2023.’  

After the site visit, the team was taken on a tour of Watercare’s training centre by Training Development Manager Nicky Willcox. Jon says the facility, which opened in 2018, hosts several props including a live water reticulation network, mini wastewater network, a residential façade and typical streetscape.

‘Of particular interest was the multi-purpose pipe-jacking unit. This prop has a concrete pipe that can be used for a variety of confined space scenarios. We hope to co-ordinate with Watercare to train at this facility as well. 

‘Watercare and Fire and Emergency have had a strong working relationship, and we look forward to working and training with them more in the future.’

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