Tough ac­tion not ruled out on sewage leak

Stanthorpe Border Post - - NEWS -

THE Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Sci­ence has not ruled out tak­ing ac­tion against South­ern Downs Re­gional Coun­cil fol­low­ing the lat­est raw sewage leak into Quart Pot Creek.

The DES is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the lat­est in a long line of sewage spills into the town’s main creek.

“The depart­ment un­der­stands that coun­cil has placed signs at the creek to no­tify the pub­lic of this mat­ter,” a depart­ment spokesper­son said.

“DES has pre­vi­ously is­sued a statu­tory no­tice to coun­cil re­quir­ing that they in­ves­ti­gate the man­age­ment of treated ef­flu­ent from the sewage treat­ment plant at Stan­thorpe.

“The in­ves­ti­ga­tion of this lat­est in­ci­dent will fo­cus on the spe­cific fac­tors which led to the re­lease.”

Coun­cil be­lieves non-com­pli­ant prop­er­ties, on top of the level of in­flow into the Stan­thorpe Waste­water Treat­ment Plant are to blame.

“(Our) Re­cent smoke test­ing pro­gram iden­ti­fied non-com­pli­ant prop­er­ties and fix­tures where de­fects al­low storm wa­ter into the lo­cal sewer sys­tem. There is an on­go­ing pro­gram be­ing un­der­taken by coun­cil to is­sue no­ti­fi­ca­tions to prop­erty own­ers and to fol­low up on rec­ti­fi­ca­tion work,” an SDRC spokesper­son said.

“There is a very min­i­mal level of pol­lu­tion due to the di­lu­tion rate of the dis­charge and in­creased flow in the river.”

But the DES said, if nec­es­sary, they would take ac­tion to en­sure le­gal obli­ga­tions were be­ing met.

“DES has a range of en­force­ment op­tions avail­able if re­quired.”

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