No exceptions on sewage spills: ORC

No-one is exempt from prosecution for spills that pollute waterways, the Otago Regional Council says.

At a meeting this week, councillors expressed concern at the number of spills into water from Queenstown Lakes District Council sewerage pipes.

There had been 11 unauthorised spills into Lake Wakatipu in the past 13 months.

Chairman Stephen Woodhead said the council investigated all instances of spills to waterways whether urban or rural and treated them the same.

Chief executive Peter Bodeker said no decisions had been made on what penalties Queenstown Lakes Council could face if there were future spills.

''We are working very closely with the aim of identifying a way forward as there have been too many discharges to the lake.''

He would be talking to the council's chief executive at their next meeting about dealing with the problem of sewage spills into the lake.

Cr David Shepherd said it was important the council was consistent across the rural and urban environments in how it handled spills.

- rebecca.fox@odt.co.nz