Sewage spill leads to coun­cil court case

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

A large sewage spill in Ti­tahi Bay has led to a charge be­ing laid against Porirua City Coun­cil.

The ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant’’ spill hap­pened last Oc­to­ber af­ter a pipe bro­ken by storm de­bris al­lowed more waste­water than usual to flow into the Ti­tahi Bay waste­water treat­ment plant.

There was also a partly blocked un­der­wa­ter grate at the plant, which caused the par­tially treated sewage to over­flow one of the basins, into the sea south of Ti­tahi Bay, the coun­cil said.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Simp­son said the coun­cil ac­cepted the over­flow hap­pened and it in­tended to plead guilty to the charge, which was be­ing brought by Welling­ton Re­gional Coun­cil.

Re­gional coun­cil spokesman Al Cross said he could not give de­tails of the in­ci­dent or the in­ves­ti­ga­tion un­til the mat­ter was re­solved.

A prose­cu­tion of this kind was rare, with just two oth­ers in Welling­ton in the past 10 years, he said.

Porirua City Coun­cil spokesman Peter Bai­ley said the chances of a sim­i­lar over­flow hap­pen­ing again were slim, but the coun­cil had taken mea­sures such as re­moval of the grates and had looked into in­stalling a trig­ger sys­tem when the basins reached cer­tain lev­els to en­sure they did not over­flow.

Last May, Welling­ton City Coun­cil was let off a sim­i­lar charge af­ter a dis­charge of mil­lions of litres of sewage off Welling­ton’s south coast fol­low­ing a storm. In 2012, dis­charg­ing hu­man ef­flu­ent into the Waikato River landed Hamil­ton City Coun­cil with a $37,500 bill.

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