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Tara Okan

Tara Okan’s formal training is in Botany, Fresh Water Ecology and Marine Zoology. He worked 4 years as Marine Biologist and personal assistant to Prof. John Morton at Auckland University; diving, studying and illustrating coral reef species of Fiji. Then in The New Zealand Forest Service and the New Zealand Film Industry as a wilderness location manager writing environmental impact reports and developing mitigation strategies to allow filming in sensitive ecological areas without damage to the environment.

After noticing increasing industrial degradation to formerly pristine water bodies by plastic, abattoir waste, oil residue and other toxic effluents, with resulting degradation of the natural ecology, Tara joined DCM Process Control Ltd and became impassioned about using submersible UV-Vis spectrophotometers to trace and educate industrial polluters. His present work focuses on providing feed forward process control strategies for water and wastewater plants specialising in the treatment of Industrial effluent for discharge to the environment.

In 2012 Tara inaugurated The New Zealand Trade and Industrial Waste Forum Inc and remains the secretary for this organisation. This has become a substantial organisation with many hundreds of members including Trade Waste Officers, Consent Commissioners, local and regional councils. Tara heads the NZTIWF working committee which has been formally asked to draft legislation for New Zealand national trade waste standards.


In his working career, Tara’s experience has been gained in the water, wastewater and marine sectors. He has successfully worked for a wide variety of clients including local industries, local and regional authorities and large corporate organisations in New Zealand and Australia in the treatment of Dairy, Abattoir and Industrial Trade Waste.

Tara has specialist expertise in feed forward process control of water and wastewater treatment plants. He has been a project scientist on many projects including Southern Water and Hamilton Water Treatment Plants, Morrinsville and Pukekohe Wastewater Treatment Plants, chemical dosing installations at WPI Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Kapuni Water, Contact Energy Geothermal Treatment Plants and Industrial effluent monitoring at Damar Industries Rotorua.

With an excellent understanding of environmental needs and compliance criteria, Tara is able to successfully compile process design monitoring systems that best reflect contract obligations.  He is dedicated to achieving an exceptional level of accuracy and takes responsibility for his work enthusiastically with a focus on value-driven solutions for our clients and our environment.


Management Skills:

  • Extensive water and wastewater expertise particularly in trade waste detection, analysis and process treatment.

  • Project analyst and solution provider.

  • Project management and design skills including critical path planning.

  • Proven abilities in client liaison establishing strong relationships with clients, consultants, subcontractors local and regional council officers and regulatory boards.

  • Proven track record of process delivery customer service and relationship management  including plant commissioning and interactive staff training


Technical Skills:

  • Specialist in instrumentation selection and implementation for process control

  • Technical writing and documentation skills; Functional Description manuals, Standard Operating Procedure documents, technical documents and process overviews.

  • Instrument training calibration and commissioning services.

  • Influent and effluent studies including Compositional analysis and UV-vis spectrophotometry.

  • On-going process design projects including university studies for the use of nitrates and ammonia feed forward control in wastewater treatment processes.

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