Alert city residents are helping spot errant sewage spills into the Waikato River – and playing a part in cleaning up the river.
Environment Waikato has had calls from residents noticing unusual colours or spills into the river over the past week which can be quickly investigated and dealt with, according to Resource Information Group Manager Tony Petch. A rogue sewage spill into the Waikato River on Thursday was spotted by a walker who noticed a red liquid flowing in the water from a stormwater pipe near Liverpool Street.
Environment Waikato investigated, found the discharge was sewage and discovered the flow was coming from a blocked sewer line nearby. Sewage had backflowed into a manhole where there was a decades-old connection to the stormwater pipe.
Hamilton City Council responded immediately, placing an air bag in the channel and using a sucker truck to unblock the pipe.
“We really appreciate people telling us about these events because they are hard to detect. The city is working hard to find these old cross connections and pipe breaks which inadvertently cause contamination. If you see something unusual, please tell us about it. It’s a very complex system.