The Queenstown Lakes District Council is warning the
public to take greater care with what they put down drains,
after fat and grease were blamed for the third sewage overflow
in the Wakatipu in recent months.
Council chief executive Adam Feeley issued the warning
yesterday to prevent future unnecessary clean-up costs and
health risks after learning fat and grease from households
and businesses in Frankton and Kelvin Heights were a
contributory cause of Sunday's sewage overflow in Frankton.
Inspections showed the sewer pipe had been blocked by an
accumulation of fat, as well as gravel, Mr Feeley said.
''This is a completely avoidable problem that needs the
community as a whole to think more carefully about what
they're putting into their drains.''
The council is likely to schedule more preventive maintenance
of its sewerage systems, including inspections using
closed-circuit television cameras, to reduce the risk of
similar build-ups causing overflows.
However, it was ultimately a collective public responsibility
to stop putting the wrong material down drains, Mr Feeley
''Household refuse, commercial water and debris from
developers and roading contractors will all cause serious
problems if it enters our drains.''
The council will be promoting greater public awareness of the
issue in coming months and also intended to work more closely
with the Otago Regional Council to ensure those who caused
obstructions in the wastewater system would be held to
account, including liability for any clean-up costs.
A short section of beach at the south end of Frankton was
closed for 36 hours, but has been reopened.