Creating Skills for life


Samoan plumbers consider healthier sanitation option

Sep 07, 2012

In April this year (2012), Wayne and Hilton Gilinsky of Aqua Nova of New Zealand kindly offered to donate an Aqua Nova demonstration unit to the Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) in Samoa so it could be used as a training aid. Aqua Nova is one of the leading suppliers in alternative domestic wastewater treatment throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Their generosity was rewarded recently at the APTC Plumbing workshop at the NUS campus when they launched their product, the first of its kind in Samoa, to a crowd of 40 or so eager participants. The group consisting of government representatives, APTC plumbing students, plumbing trainers, local plumbers, environmental consultants and internationally recognised construction firms were extremely interested in the Aqua Nova product as it represents a vast improvement on current wastewater disposal systems. 

The Plumbers Association of Samoa (PAS) and the APTC plumbing team co-hosted the event and both parties are calling it a huge success. APTC is a vocational college funded in the Pacific by the Australian Government to provide training to citizens from Pacific Island Forum countries.

Meki Taula of the Plumbers Association said, "PAS is very happy to be a co-host of this event. As a newly established association, this type of training is one of the key obligations that we promised to deliver. The demonstration and introduction of this product is another option for septic tank systems and is a trend which we should take as we put more emphasis on health and environmentally sustainable development. We are very thankful to Aqua Nova and APTC. I'm sure that PAS members and everyone participating were as happy as I was to see such product available in the Plumbing & Drainage Industry in Samoa".

APTC trainer Bruce Weatherill commented that "We are so fortunate to be able to bring so many people from differing plumbing industry sectors together for this event and everybody will gain from it. Our students in particular couldn't have asked for a better training experience. They helped Wayne put the whole unit together and install the disposal area and now we have this state of the art resource. We are very grateful to Aqua Nova".

The Aqua Nova unit sparked significant interest with the Samoa Ministry of Works and the Samoa Water Authorities wastewater sector. With superior technology the Aqua Nova unit improves the quality of effluent that is disposed of in the ground. The current septic systems run into soak pits which have a minimal effect on improving effluent quality before it reaches the water table. Bruce Weatherill added "Septics and soak pits are old technology and are usually poorly designed and constructed, this makes them non- sustainable from an environmental perspective. Basically, if poorly treated effluent hits the water table today, you are swimming, bathing or fishing in it tomorrow, this is how diseases like typhoid and cholera spread".

So successful was the launch that the Samoa Water Authority is currently looking to install an Aqua Nova unit at its Vaitele depot as a pilot model and with any luck, it won't be the last we see of Aqua Nova in Samoa.

APTC is an Australian Government initiative in partnership with the Pacific and Timor-Leste.

APTC is implemented by TAFE Queensland (RTO 0275)

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