Enforcement authorities are rallying to address the cause
of yet another sewage spill in Queenstown.
Otago Regional Council staff have started an investigation
into Tuesday's spill which sent wastewater flowing into Horne
Creek. Environmental monitoring and operations director Jeff
Donaldson said the council could ''instigate some action''.
After the latest spill, on Tuesday afternoon, the council
sent a staff member out to observe and determine what
The spill, from a manhole in Stanley St, resulted in about
2000 litres of wastewater entering Horne Creek, which flows
into Lake Wakatipu, after congealed fat built up and blocked
QLDC chief executive Adam Feeley said ''in recent weeks QLDC
has been developing a plan of action to deal with a recent
spate'' of spills.
Mr Feeley said the level of preventive maintenance of the
sewer pipes should be increased and this would begin
Key elements of this included ''a fourfold increase in the
waterblasting'' of the pipe network, reprioritising
maintenance to identify high-risk areas in the network and
increased use of CCTV cameras to identify problems likely to
result in a blockage.
Mr Feeley said the council would target all food premises to
ensure staff were aware of the consequences of putting fats
or oils into wastewater drains.
Last month, the ODT reported that in the past year
there had been nine unauthorised sewage spills into Lake
''What we are worried about is their [QLDC] infrastructure is
failing and causing pollution ... which is [then] our
responsibility'', Mr Donaldson said.
E. coli was present on Tuesday, but by Thursday
results were clear. A trade waste bylaw, which would make it
easier to prosecute offenders, is being prepared by the QLDC,
to be considered at its March meeting.
Rather than having concern about the council's
infrastructure, Mr Feeley said, the council was concerned
about what people were putting into it.