Results of Muri/Avana commercial sites’ sanitation assessments to be released

24 July 2013

WATSAN will be meeting with individual business owners to present their individual inspection sheet of the current state of their sanitation system. It also outlines the work required, if any, to meet current regulations and will provide advice and assistance during this process.

The work is part of the Waste Management Initiative (WMI) Programme’s pilot project aimed at improving the quality of the ground water and lessening the amount of pollution entering the lagoon.

WATSAN Unit acting manager, Tekao Herrmann, said that while WATSAN’s work in Muri and Avana had been focussed on residential properties so far, commercial properties were significant contributors to wastewater volume and a vital component of the project.

“We need to ensure business owners are aware of the state of their current sanitation systems, the requirements of the relevant Regulations and Code, and any work required to bring their systems up to standard.  Public Health Regulations relating to sanitation systems and sewage treatment standards, required operators of onsite systems to comply with the current standards by 2011 and in many cases this has not happened, so we hope that this work will help them achieve compliance and ensure the prevention of further lagoon pollution. ” said Herrmann.

This work is planned to coincide with development of a ‘Warrant of Fitness’ scheme for sanitation systems at commercial properties, which it is intended will ultimately create a link between the Public Health Regulations and the Tourism Accreditation Scheme operated by the Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council. 

Herrmann is also pleased to report that the upgrade of all domestic sanitation systems is almost complete with just 9 properties out of approximately 240 that have not signed up which is a huge success in terms of project implementation. 

The report was prepared following inspections of the sanitation systems at all of the commercial properties in the Muri-Avana area, conducted by the WATSAN Unit of MOIP and Public Health Inspectors, during 2012.

The WMI programme is funded via the joint Australia and New Zealand aid programmes.