Friday, November 13, 2009

Salamanca sewage action

THE days of raw sewage flowing from drains at Hobart's historic Salamanca Place should soon be over.

The first stage of a $1.5 million infrastructure upgrade of the area's sewerage system begins on Monday and is expected to be finished in two weeks.

The pump station built in 1912 and many of the pipes installed in the 1950s were no longer able to cope with increased volumes, said Southern Water executive manager service delivery Ian Dunbabin.

"The work will help to reduce odour problems while also addressing occupational health and safety issues for our employees," he said.

The work is the first part of a plan to further upgrade and improve the wastewater services in the Salamanca area.

"This will address a number of issues which are contributing to the problems in the area including the infiltration of stormwater into the wastewater system, siphon line difficulties and the poor performance of ageing infrastructure," Mr Dunbabin said.

Treasurer Michael Aird welcomed the work.

"A few months ago there were overflowing drains and raw sewage flowing through Salamanca Place, one of Tasmania's most popular and important tourist precincts," he said.

"It is pleasing the work will be done before the peak tourist season and it will reduce odour problems."

Mr Aird said there were 93 sewage spills in Tasmania in July and August and he expected reform of water and sewerage would improve public health and be good for the environment.

Southern Water came into effect on July 1.

Mr Dunbabin said works would avoid festivals, increased cruise-ship visits and the busy Christmas and New Year trading season.

"We also want to ensure there are no repeats of previous problems in the area that impact negatively on local traders and on the image of this vibrant area," he said.

Ball and Chain Grill owner Phil Capon said Southern Water was very pro-active and had kept businesses informed.

The next phase, including construction of a new pump station, is scheduled to start in March.

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