Jump platform ready for summer action

10 November 2014

Come on in – the water’s fine - the Taranaki Street Wharf jump platform, in Wellington Harbour, has reopened and is ready for the attentions and antics of the city’s daredevil bomb divers.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she’s hoping to be one of the first to leap off the platform.

“Summer is almost upon us and the Capital has been having some cracker spring weather over the last month. I’m thrilled the platform is open again. It provides so much enjoyment for locals and tourists alike and adds a real buzz to the waterfront area.”

Ian Pike, from Wellington City Council’s City Shaper unit, says water quality has improved considerably since mitigation measures were put in place.

“The PVC skirt we constructed around the jump platform in March has done the trick. For the last seven months we have been testing the water below the platform. WCC, Regional Public Health and Greater Wellington Regional Council reviewed monitoring data and last week it was decided the platform could reopen.

“Two inner city stormwater pipes empty into the harbour near the platform – various contaminants can be washed off city streets and from private properties and end up in the water – especially after heavy rain. The skirt keeps contaminated water away from the jump platform.”

The skirt and pumps, which cost around $150,000, have been installed beneath the platform. The pumps help refresh the water within the enclosed area with fresh sea water. The innovative idea was designed by engineering firm Beca.

Wellington’s Medical Officer of Health, Stephen Palmer, says after reviewing the data results, he’s confident the new measures will keep the water safe to swim in.

“The platform has been such an attraction for the city’s youth over past summers, losing it was the last thing we wanted. It’s very rare for people to be able to freely swim in any city’s harbour so the people who came up with the solution should be congratulated.”

The Council’s Chief Asset Officer, Anthony Wilson, says the Council and Wellington Water have developed an integrated and holistic plan covering all impacts and outcomes on the city’s stormwater catchments.

“We’re focusing on the central city area at first, where we have an ongoing programme of investigations and repairs to both wastewater and stormwater pipes – tracking down cross-connections, where sewage enters the stormwater system – when it shouldn’t. This hands-on work is coupled with ongoing public education about the effect contaminated stormwater has on harbour water quality.”

The City Council and Wellington Water will continue to monitor water quality weekly. Results from the tests will be published on Greater Wellington Regional Council’s website.

A table of the data results is attached to this press release. People wanting more information on the results should contact Alex van Paassen from Wellington Water on (04) 910 3873.