Council advises public to keep out of rivers and sea for several days after floods
The massive rainfall over the past couple of days has put pressure on the Kāpiti Coast District’s storm and wastewater systems resulting in the need to spill excess treated and some untreated wastewater from the water treatment plant in Fytfield Place, Paraparaumu.
Council Group Manager, Infrastructure Services, Sean Mallon said the treatment plant was upgraded in 2001/2 and was specifically designed to manage such events, but this was the first time it had to spill screened untreated wastewater.
“Despite having a 25,000 cubic metre emergency overflow pond, which equates to the size of ten Olympic-sized swimming pools, it just couldn’t cope with the one-month volume of rain that fell in just two days from Sunday night to Tuesday.
“We obtained permission from Greater Wellington Regional Council to temporarily spill more treated wastewater into the Mazengarb drain than our resource consent specifies. Unfortunately, the huge amount of rain in a short time forced us to also spill screened but untreated wastewater.”
Mr Mallon said this could continue for a day or two more as the treatment system returns to manageable inflows from the storm and wastewater networks.
“The drain discharges into the Mazengarb stream and eventually the lower reaches of the Waikanae River diluting as it goes but this is never a desirable option and something we always try to avoid at all costs. Unfortunately, this time the rain defeated us,” Mr Mallon said.
“This is a prime example of why we strongly recommend people do not play in floodwaters or even rivers and the sea after heavy rain. Council staff have advised the regional public health unit and the regional council and put up warning signs which we hope the public will heed,” he said.
For information on safe swimming visit Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) - Can I swim here?