Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown is one of the first people to leap off the newly-reopened Taranaki Street Wharf jump platform in Wellington Harbour.
The platform has been out of action while measures were being put in place to improve the quality of the water.
Wellington’s medical officer of health Stephen Palmer says 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”.
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 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.