Phill Thomass, Rotorua Lakes Community Board Chairperson, spoke to Local Focus about the open day at the new Rotoiti water treatment plants.

"This plant is really high-end, the best we could get in terms of tech," Thomass said.

"Plants used to just be for treating bacteria, but this plant strips out all nitrogen and phosphorus, we don't want those going back into our lakes.

"When we developed this, communities had concerns about other things in sewage, some are on dialysis and cancer treatment so we put in extra filtering for that."

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Touring the new plant has changed the minds of many residents who were unsure about the project, he said.

"For me, I think it's the fact people suddenly get why we're doing the reticulation.

"There have been some pockets in the community saying 'why can't we just stick with our septic tanks?'

"When they actually come up and see physically what we are doing ... then [there is] a really good response to it.

"We are used to getting people's complaints and concerns about issues. We don't normally see a lot of bouquets coming back council's way. But I've already had a whole lot of people come back to me overnight to say what a fantastic day and how much they enjoyed coming going through the plant.

"So, a great response."

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