After nine months of planning, Northland DHB Drinking Water Assessor Keith Turner was excited for the opportunity to gather over 40 water treatment operators from around Northland for a workshop to help upskill them in ultra violet (UV) disinfection.
Keith said this was a milestone achievement – the first time the national body Water Industry Operations Group (WIOG) had been north of Auckland to train operators.
Attendees ranged from large-scale water treatment plant technicians from the councils in Northland to operators from marae and communities who supply homes in their area.
Keith said there were operators from Dargaville to Mitimiti. The workshop was a rare opportunity for these smaller community operators to gain first-hand theory directly, with the added bonus of hands-on interactive demonstrations using one of Filtec’s UV reactors.
Operators had the opportunity to ask questions and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the products that they use for their particular water supply. They learnt how to operate and monitor their systems adequately to get the most out of them and gained a better understanding of why compliance requirements are important and how these are achieved.
The UV disinfection systems that Filtec and WIOG were training the operators on, is a well-established method of water disinfection. The UV inactivates bacteria, protozoa and viruses by rendering them incapable of reproducing and infecting. It is a simple and relatively inexpensive treatment, especially for small and remote water supplies.
Monitoring is undertaken by the Northland DHB Drinking Water Assessment Unit so that drinking water in the region meets compliance and keeps our population safe and healthy. The UV systems have inbuilt monitoring systems to alert the water supplier when the system is not operating correctly. Information on how this is done was included in the workshop.