A sign seen yesterday warns people that Horne Creek, at the
Village Green, has been polluted by wastewater. Photo by
Queenstown has had yet another sewage spill.
The latest, from a manhole in Stanley St on Tuesday
afternoon, was caused by a build-up of congealed fat which
blocked a pipe and caused overflow.
A statement released by the Queenstown Lakes District Council
said an estimated 2000 litres of wastewater subsequently
entered Horne Creek and signs were placed along a short
section of beach where the creek enters Lake Wakatipu.
Water testing on Tuesday night confirmed E. coli was
present and the council was waiting for the result of
yesterday's testing, the council's infrastructure and assets
general manager, Erik Barnes, said. It was likely that the
fat came from a restaurant but the council has not been able
to find where it entered the sewerage system, Mr Barnes said.
In December, raw sewage flowed on to Athol St and last month
the Otago Daily Times reported that in the past year
there had been nine unauthorised sewage spills into Lake
Wakatipu in the Queenstown, Frankton and Fernhill areas.
There had also been two last month, one at Kelvin Heights and
the other at Frankton.
The council was looking at developing a trade waste bylaw
which would make it easier to prosecute people found putting
inappropriate material into the sewers and stormwater drains.
''We want to do better,'' Mr Barnes said, but added, ''It's
one of those tough things.''
An education programme had also been launched to inform the
public about the consequences of tipping fat, oil or grease
into drains either at home or work.
On average, it costs the council $1000 to have contractors
clean up spills.