Council pledges no repeat of spill

By Allison Rudd

Dunedin City Council staff are confident there will be no repeat of the failures which led to last year's lime spill from the Mount Grand water treatment station, city environment general manager Tony Avery says. The council was yesterday fined $14,000 by the Environment Court after pleading guilty to discharging lime slurry into the Kaikorai Stream in October.

The spill, which had a devastating effect on aquatic life, was caused by human error and design faults at a new lime plant the council was testing at Mount Grand at the time. Mr Avery said the council "from the outset of this unfortunate accident" had acknowledged its responsibility. It had co-operated fully in the clean-up and the inquiry into the cause of the spill. In court yesterday it was revealed the council had spent $3500 on the immediate clean-up.

"Following our own investigations we had already put in place those operational procedures recommended by the court and we are confident these will ensure there is no repetition of the failures which led to the spill." The council had hired a water-quality consultant to monitor the stream and its tributaries and was pleased to see the "very quick" recovery of flora and fauna in the Kaikorai Stream and Frasers Creek habitat, Mr Avery said.


Friday 9 March 2001

This information obtained from and with the permission of the Otago Daily Times.