Abatement notice issued to Whanganui District Council for unauthorised discharge

Horizons Regional Council has issued Whanganui District Council an abatement notice due to unauthorised wastewater discharge into the Mowhanau Stream at Kai Iwi Beach.

Horizons strategy and regulation group manager Dr Nic Peet said the abatement notice will result in formal investigations under the Resource Management Act.

The abatement notice was issued following an unauthorised sewerage discharge into the Mowhanau Stream on Wednesday 11 January.

“Due to long term issues at the site, Horizons swim spot monitoring programme has included site testing at the Mowhanau Stream near the footbridge,” says Dr Peet.

“During sampling on the Wednesday, sewerage discharge from a pipe leading from Mowhanau wastewater pump station into the stream was noted and samples were taken for testing. Horizons consents monitoring team then notified Whanganui District Council who erected public health warning signs.

“The district council rectified the pump station issue, and subsequent samples were sent by Horizons to an independent accredited laboratory for further testing. On Friday 20 January, Whanganui District Council received the green light to remove the health warning signs.

“Horizons were made aware of a second unauthorised sewerage discharge on Sunday 22 January. This was the result of a separate issue with Whanganui District Council’s infrastructure, requiring Mowhanau Stream and Kai Iwi Beach to be closed to the public for swimming and another health warning put in place.

“We take public health and water quality issues seriously, and will be investigating these unauthorised wastewater discharges to ensure this popular area does not face similar issues again.

“We ask the public to contact Horizons hotline on 0508 800 800 if they have any pollution incidents to report.”