Heavy rainfall over the last 12 hours has overwhelmed Inglewood’s oxidation pond, a settling pond where sewage is treated, causing an overflow of partially treated wastewater into Kurapete Stream which flows into the Maunganui River.
It’s been estimated approximately 335,000 litres per hour of partially treated wastewater is being discharged. Staff are onsite monitoring the situation and working hard to stop the overflow by pumping as much through to the New Plymouth treatment plant as possible but it’s only likely to stop when the heavy rainfall abates.
“We regret and apologise for this incident. The majority of the overflow is rainwater, but we urge caution and we’ve alerted the Taranaki Regional Council and the Taranaki District Health Board as regulators, and been in touch with iwi and hapū and other recreational users,” says Mark Hall, NPDC’s Water Manager.
Warning signs have been erected and nobody should swim in the Manganui until the signs are removed. Keep up to date with the latest information on the Can I Swim page on our website.
While the cause of this incident was the heavy rainfall the overflow is impacted by limitations to the region’s wastewater infrastructure, with Councillors set to deliberate tomorrow whether to invest $248 million over the next decade in upgrading the District’s water network.