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The Southland District Council may prosecute a handful of stragglers who have ignored requests to connect to the Otautau reticulated sewerage and wastewater scheme.
The property owners would be sent a letter in the new year instructing them to connect within three months or face prosecution, council environment and community group manager Bruce Halligan said.
The scheme, which covers about 470 households, was installed 14 years ago to replace individual septic tanks.
''A more forceful approach'' was needed for the four property owners who had still not connected despite reminder letters over several years, Mr Halligan said.
''Hopefully, prosecution will not prove necessary, but these properties cannot remain unconnected indefinitely.''
Prosecution could result in a fine of up to $5000.