Con­cern over old sep­tic tanks

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - .

The Have­lock North gas­tro saga has sparked calls for ac­tion to pre­vent fail­ing sep­tic tanks con­tam­i­nat­ing wa­ter sup­plies through­out New Zealand.

A new re­port has slammed lo­cal coun­cils over last year’s campy­lobac­ter out­break in the Hawke’s Bay, which sick­ened more than 5,000 res­i­dents and has been blamed on con­tam­i­nated bores.

Ac­cord­ing to waste­water sys­tems man­u­fac­turer Bi­olytix, which was the In­no­va­tion Award win­ner at the 2017 NZ Hi

‘‘There are thought to be more than 40,000 homes with fail­ing on-site waste­water sys­tems across New Zealand.’’

Tech Awards, the next wa­ter con­tam­i­na­tion scan­dal could be caused by dis­charged sewage from old or poorly main­tained sep­tic tanks.

‘‘There are thought to be more than 40,000 homes with fail­ing on-site waste­water sys­tems across New Zealand, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry for the En­vi­ron­ment.

How­ever, noth­ing ap­pears to have been done to ad­dress the prob­lem,’’ spokesman Karl Geiseler said.

‘‘Th­ese old sep­tic tanks are tick­ing time bombs that are putting our health, and that of our wa­ter­ways, at se­ri­ous risk.

‘‘Many of th­ese home­own­ers are not even aware that there is a prob­lem.’’

Lo­cal coun­cils needed to in­ves­ti­gate, he said.

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