Just how many sewage overflows enter the Tamar River each year is being debated between the government and TasWater.
Earlier this year Premier Will Hodgman launched the Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce.
At the time he said Launceston was “subject to 1000 sewage outflows a year – that is third-world stuff”.
Mr Hodgman was quoting from a story in The Examiner from 2016 when a Right To Information request showed raw effluent spilled into the Tamar River on 1255 occasions in 2014 and 913 occasions in 2015.
But a TasWater spokeswoman said the Launceston system “typically overflows into the Tamar on 50 per cent of rain days across the year”.
“This has resulted in between 60-90 overflow events from the combined system per year.
“This was the recorded trend over the past years.”
The spokesman said not every pump start at a sewerage station indicated an overflow event.
“When there is significant rainfall in the Launceston area, an overflow event may occur,” he said.
“This is when the sewage pumps within a pump station aren’t capable of keeping up with the volume of wastewater entering the pump station, then the excess wastewater overflows into the Tamar.”
He said the sewage component of an overflow event was “typically less than 5 per cent of total flow”.
The state and federal governments have jointly funded the $2 million Tamar Estuary Management Taskforce, which is chaired by Infrastructure Tasmania chief Allan Garcia.
Its first priority will be to recommend the preferred solution to fix the problem of raw sewerage flowing into the Tamar during high rainfall events.