A spill at Gympie’s sewage treatment plant was cleaned up immediately when noticed yesterday morning.
A spill at Gympie’s sewage treatment plant was cleaned up immediately when noticed yesterday morning. Renee Pilcher

Sewage spill contained

THE sorts of things you put down your sinks or flush down your toilet can have a major effect on sewerage systems and in the worst case can clog up a pump and cause a smelly spill.

Workers who arrived for their shift at the Gympie treatment plant yesterday discovered a pump station holding pond had overflowed and found a rag had blocked the pump.

Works and Services chairman Larry Friske said it was unusual for rubbish to jam a pump at the treatment plant because it would have already passed through much smaller pump stations along the way.

He said action was taken immediately to rectify the problem and the spill was contained on the plant’s property before a nearby creek could be contaminated.

“We had a pumper truck come and pump out the well and where it leaked out we dug a series of trenches to direct the waste into and pumped out,” Cr Friske said. “The area affected by the spill was washed down with runoff caught in the trenches and pumped out.”

Cr Friske said the blockage was caused by a rag that had entered the sewerage system via the general public and asked residents to not put disposable nappies or rags down toilets.

“I feel sorry for the workers who have got to go in and clean these messes up. Pumps fail for different reasons but most of the time blockages are caused by members of the public flushing things down the toilet that they shouldn’t be.

“The EPA was notified of the spillage immediately,” Cr Friske added.

Gympie Times


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