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Sewage ponds overflow at Lake Horowhenua

Sewage ponds overflow at Lake Horowhenua



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21 August 2008

Sewage ponds overflow at Lake Horowhenua


Sewage ponds have overflowed at the Lake Horowhenua treatment plant with only new unlined earth banks keeping them from spilling into the lake.

Says Green Co-Leader Russel Norman, "This is turning out to be one of New Zealand's worst sewage disasters in years, yet Horowhenua Mayor Brendan Duffy is still in denial. He needs to accept there is a major problem and take leadership on it or resign."

Aerial photographs (four attached) taken late yesterday show groundwater from earthworks at the plant is pouring into the lake and creating a plume of dirtier lake water.

"Because the bunds and make-shift emergency ponds the council is making are unlined, there is absolutely no doubt sewage is seeping into the lake as well," Dr Norman says.

The two lined ponds at the plant have overflowed into two unlined depressions creating one big sewage lake which has overflowed up into operating sections of the plant. The council has built a large makeshift earth bank to the north side of the plant to try to contain the overflow but this has been insufficient - meaning another paddock is being bunded.

"Unfortunately this comes just two years after the council spent $10.4 million on a huge council building. It comes a month after a Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment report on a council landfill which pollutes groundwater near Hokio Stream," Dr Norman says.

"Horowhenua District Council has a history of resource consent breaches including a court appearance in recent weeks for emptying Shannon's sewage ponds into the Mangaore Stream.

It needs to admit it has lost control at the lake and to seek urgent help from outside."


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ENDS

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