Council working to fix stormwater issues

Invercargill City Council lawyer Michael Morris.
Robyn Edie

Invercargill City Council lawyer Michael Morris.

The raw human sewage in Invercargill's stormwater has been highlighted by Public Health South which wants the public to be better informed when water quality issues arise.

Public Health South was the last of the public submitters to speak at a hearing before three commissioners in Invercargill this week.

The Invercargill City Council has applied for a permit to discharge water and contaminants from stormwater systems into surface water bodies and into open drains, for a term of 35 years.

A total of 147 discharge pipes draining to the Waikiwi Stream, Waihopai River, Otepuni Stream, Kingswell Creek and Clifton Channel are covered by the application.

"The major issue with this consent for Public Health South is that the stormwater discharge contains raw human sewage which is a prohibited activity...", health protection officer Kate Marshall said.

Marshall said Public Health South was "neutral" in respect to its position, with its only concern that the consent conditions be adequate to protect human health.

Public Health South wanted the city council to better communicate with the public about contaminants such as raw sewage being in the stormwater discharge, and it wants the public regularly updated on the content of stormwater discharges.

Access to and enjoyment of fresh, clean surface water in urban settings should be a goal of any modern city, Marshall said.

"As things currently stand there are potential health risks posed to our community from the raw sewage found in the waterways ... faecal coliform bacteria in urban surface waters commonly exceed World Health Organisation standards for recreation."

Already, events such as the Mud Run at Daffodil Bay, scheduled for March this year in the New River Estuary, was prevented due to potential health risks posed by the poor state of the sediment.

Ad Feedback

"The venue was swiftly changed and clean mud was trucked in from a Southland farm."

Environment Southland says the city council application to discharge water and contaminants from stormwater systems should be turned down because the receiving waters and the New River Estuary would be affected.   

Environment Southland principal consents officer Stephen West, speaking at the hearing on Friday after public submissions had been completed, said Environment Southland still opposed the application.

"The sewage contamination of the discharge is the key issue."

The sewage caused the discharge to breach the water quality standards, making it a non complying activity, he said.

 

 

Invercargill City Council lawyer Michael Morris said the council had not been sitting on its hands in terms of its investment in the city's stormwater network.

The council had put in  a reticulated sewage network at Makarewa to avoid overflow of septic tanks into the Waikiwi Stream, and a system is being constructed in Kennington to avoid contamination the city knows will be occurring in the Waihopai River.

The council had undertaken investigations to resolve issues where it had identified sewage contamination, Morris said.

As had already been noted, Morris said: "This is a war and each investigation is simply a battle within that war." 

When a connection is found to cause a contamination, it has been fixed, "but that does not mean the contamination is resolved, it means there is another battle to be fought somewhere else, potentially on that system. 

"And the city is committed to continue to do that."

There had been much made about the age of the network but only 10 per cent of the city's stormwater network was 100 years or older, he said.

There had been a significant upgrade of the network since the 1984 flood and the council had continued to spend money on the renewal of its stormwater network and would continue to do so.

In all the investigations so far, other than discharge of two "constructed overflows", the source of the contamination was from private properties, and not as a result of the city's network failing, Morris said. 

The council had options available which would allow it to do the work on private properties and charge it back to the owners, but would rather it was done voluntarily.

The three hearing commissioners will wait for the city council to provide further written evidence before making their decision on the council application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 - The Southland Times

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Cats on leashes warning

Toby the cat is walked twice daily on a leash.

Don't do it - it can drive your cat berserk, animal behaviour specialist says.

Tighter sedimentation rules needed

Dr Nick Shears monitoring in the Goat Island marine reserve.

Concerns over coastal sedimentation will only increase with climate change.

Auckland traffic snub 'shocking'

Traffic frustrations heading to Auckland Airport peaked in 2016 when congestion was likened to that of a third world country.

Business leaders angry the main route to Auckland airport is not included in major election transport plan.

Artist blends politics into painting

The 2017 Iris Fisher Scholarship winner Christina Pataialii creates large-scale canvas paintings and delves into social ...

The 2017 Iris Fisher Scholarship winner Christina Pataialii illustrates the influences on her Samoan-New Zealand identity.

Wellington

Setting sail in a sea of words

22082017 Capital Day - Christine Ling (pictured) and Margot Sorenson have made a giant paper origami boat which will be ...

 A giant paper origami boat is sailing into the National Library for National Poetry Day

Fatal scooter crash

The scene of the fatal collision between a car and a 91 year old man on a mobility scooter on Waerenga Rd, Otaki, near ...

Bystanders comforted a 91-year-old man who later died after colliding with a car while on his mobility scooter.

Quarry's rocky ground

A digger working the existing pit at Kiwi Point quarry, Ngauranga Gorge.

Wellington's choice: a new scar on landscape, or running out of building material.

Sports fields a mudbath video

A particularly wet winter has left Grenada North Park almost unusable.

There are some sports fields at Wellington's Grenada North park where the ground is so soggy that children can barely run, let alone kick a ball.

Canterbury

New bar ends cocktail drought

Owner Anita Alder's love for a good cocktail is the driving force behind the drinks menu.

There's a new bar and eatery in Lincoln and BBQ Brazil reopens under new management.

Arena partners wanted

Christchurch's proposed multi-use arena could have a steel roof and a retractable turf.

Christchurch mayor says more work needed to decide how stadium would be paid for.

Five-month-old baby dies

Police are investigating the death of a five-month-old baby in Christchurch on Wednesday morning.

Police probe death of Christchurch baby – the second infant to die in the city this week.

Cow disease strikes third farm

Cows on an a farm near Oamaru look likely to have been infected with the Mycoplasma bovis disease from a Van Leeuwen ...

Mycoplasma looks as though it has spread to a third farm, this one in Oamaru.

Waikato

A 'world class' Garden Place video

Two shared lanes and car parks are being proposed for Hamilton's Garden Place.

Bold plan focuses on events and making city square family friendly.

Fatal crash near Waihi

Athenree Gorge runs between Waihi Beach and Waihi township, north of Tauranga.

One dead and State Highway 2 closed after collision between car and petrol tanker in Bay of Plenty.

Highway man link to fatal fire

The scene of the fatal house fire.

Man seen standing on the side of the highway near scene sparks police appeal.

10 slips block Hamilton paths

Most of the slips came to Hamilton City Council's attention after wild weather washed over in March and April, 2017 ...

Two of them 'could be from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix'.

Taranaki

One tent, 14 countries gallery

The Taranaki Arts Festival - Multi Ethnic Extravaganza was held in the Crystal Palace.

Multi-ethnic show peeks into cultures around the globe.

(No) luck of the Irish

Rose from New Zealand, Niamh O'Sullivan, with Rose Bud Molly at the Rose of Tralee competition in Ireland.

There was disappointment for Taranaki's Niamh O'Sullivan at Ireland's Rose of Tralee pageant.

Recipe: Gold medal omelette

The winning  lemonade scones with poppy seed butter, apricot and ginger jam with whipped cream

Here are the recipes for a gold winning omelette, lemonade scone and chicken mushroom pasta.

Review: Hamlet: The Video Game

Hamlet: The Video Game (The Stage Show) is a part of the Taranaki Arts Festival 2017.

With an audience of a mixed age, the young learnt of Hamlet while the older learnt about video games.

Manawatu

Block to road upgrade cleared

22082017 Photo: MURRAY WILSON/STUFF	
James Line, Kelvin Grove, Palmerston North

Palmerston North's James Line has been cleared for an urban makeover.

More homes for city

Jacinda Adern announces more state houses for Palmerston North. On her right is Labour's Rangitikei candidate Heather ...

Political parties go into battle over housing in Palmerston North.

Live: Govt books open

No new tax cuts before 2020, Steven Joyce says, with news surplus will be lower.

No new tax cuts before 2020, Finance Minister Steven Joyce says.

Pond house problems

Jillian Sinclair is struggling to find a house suitable for her special needs children, and fears she'll have to leave ...

She won a Tenancy Tribunal case against property manager, but still lives there.

Nelson

Farewell Spit eco-sanctuary plan

HealthPost chair Peter Butler on Farewell Spit.

A Golden Bay company is teaming up with DOC to help wildlife at Farewell Spit.

Rough sleeping banned

People like Janine Targett will no longer be able to sleep rough overnight in the Nelson CBD.

Nelson City Council bylaw puts in place ban on rough sleeping in city centre.

Woman airlifted after crash

Accident on SH6 near Rai Valley

A woman in her 20s was injured after her car went down an embankment on SH6.

Couple's six-figure trawler lie

Tyler Stewart Stokes, 20, and Monique Carlaw, 22, earlier admitted lying to Talley's Fisheries about a car crash they ...

The couple lied about a tragedy to divert a fishing trawler - costing Talley's $173,000.

Marlborough

Cone and the Marlburian video

Mr Whippy franchise owner Len Shaw has sold a lot of ice cream in Marlborough.

Marlborough's Mr Whippy creams the competition, scoops national award.

Crash on SH6

Accident on SH6 near Rai Valley

A woman in her 20s has been hurt in a serious crash in Marlborough

Bridges beamed in

The concept design of the Irongate bridge on State Highway 1.

Design plans show new-look coastal highway, complete with bridges and seawalls.

First time for Arbuckle

Blenheim councillor Jamie Arbuckle hopes his public profile will help snap up more votes for New Zealand First.

The outspoken Blenheim councillor is taking the leap to national politics with his "idol" Winston Peters.

South Canterbury

Cancer concern prompts book

Terrance Page has authored a book which he's giving away to help raise awareness about healthy eating in children.

Timaru man Terrance Page is determined to reduce the rate of child cancer in New Zealand.

Disease at third farm

Cows on an a farm near Oamaru look likely to have been infected with the Mycoplasma bovis disease from a Van Leeuwen ...

Cow disease Mycoplasma bovis spreads to a third farm, this one in Oamaru.

Man found in canal

Missing Twizel man David Fountain has been found dead.

Twizel man David Fountain has been remembered as an "honest, thoughtful" man.

Timaru girl in redhead project

Danni Mitchell-Saunders, 4, has been included in a project celebrating redheads.

A Timaru 4-year-old's red hair has been included in a national photography project.

Otago

Young guns in latest cycling intake

The 2017 Cycling NZ Southern Performance Hub squad at the indoor velodrome in Invercargill.

The latest intake of 17 promising cyclists will be put through their paces as part of the 2017 Southern Performance Hub in Invercargill.

Kids win playground poo war

Tarras School pupils celebrate the new public toilet that is up and running outside the school. Children petitioned the ...

Poosistance has paid off for a Central Otago school whose grounds were being used as a toilet by tourists.

Coroner demands quad bike action

Coroner Brigitte Windley says it is "imperative" action is taken to reduce the number of deaths and injuries involving ...

The ''persistent concern'' over quad bike deaths has prompted a coroner to issue recommendations to improve safety.

Cadbury sales holding up video

Cadbury's owner has been keeping an eye on its popularity with Kiwis after confirming it's shutting its southern factory.

Cadbury's owner has been keeping an eye on its popularity with Kiwis after news it will shut its southern factory.

Southland

Polyfest hits new heights video

Members of the Otatara Kindy on stage at Polyfest 2017

''They like the sense of whanau, they feel like they are a part of something."

Hospitality at the heart of the south

Ronald McDonald Family Room supervisor Helen Walker and volunteer Susan Stenton at the Ronald McDonald House ...

Southland's inaugural Purple Work Shirt Day is raising funds for Ronald McDonald House.

'Stubbornness' gets Grieve home

Dwight Grieve from Fiordland leads Jack McNaughton and Buddy Small in the early stages of the Southland championships in ...

Stubbornness and a want to succeed have helped Dwight Grieve claim the Southland Road Championship title in Te Anau on Saturday.

Quick thinking prevents injury

Fire crews attend a house fire on Dipton street, Invercargill, on Sunday afternoon.

An Invercargill family had a close shave following a house fire in Kingswell.

Ad Feedback