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Trade Waste Bylaw to Protect Environment

Trade Waste Bylaw to Protect Environment

Following more than six months of extensive consultation with businesses and the community, Rodney District Council has adopted a Trade Waste Bylaw.

The Bylaw, which became operative on September 1st 2004, will manage the discharge of liquid trade wastes into Rodney District’s public wastewater and stormwater systems.

“On adoption of the Bylaw on 26 August, the Mayor John Law described the Bylaw as a milestone for Rodney business and the District Council.

“We are pleased with the amount of community acceptance of these very necessary controls. Rodney’s communities have united to reduce the likelihood of environmental accidents occurring through the discharge of illegal substances into our waterways.”

Senior Waste Water Engineer Andrew McGregor said it would now be possible to identify trade waste discharges and their likely effect on Rodney’s ten wastewater treatment plants.

“These are very susceptible to the introduction of toxic substances or abnormal flow volumes. Trade and business operators will now be able to identify what they are discharging and utilise a process whereby their introduction into Council systems can be considered, monitored and where appropriate, permitted.” . “With such a monitoring system in place the likelihood of accidental or illegal discharges such as occurred in Warkworth in 2003 will be reduced. In this incident an oily liquid which was poured into a stormwater drain severely compromised the operation of the town’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. This in turn meant the effluent that had to be discharged temporarily contaminated the downstream environment.”

“Rodney District Council is committed to preventing this sort of occurrence and raising awareness of the issues and of the consequences of discharges. A Trade Waste Officer is to be appointed to make businesses and the community more aware of the environmental risks of putting toxic or contaminating liquids into the drainage system.”

Mr McGregor said that there were, for example, simple alternatives to some common practices which led to harmful discharges.

”The use of detergents for car washing and their subsequent discharge into waterways can adversely affect water quality. Moving a car to a berm or lawn and washing it there is an easy way to avoid this.”

The Bylaw provides for cost recovery from those businesses which are permitted to use Council systems. It also provides for an environmental charge to be levied across all domestic and business users of the public waste or storm water systems. It is this that will be used for public education and awareness of water related issues including the risks associated with introducing hazardous substances into the waste and storm water systems.

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