STEER CLEAR: A warning has been issued after a possible wastewater spill in the Condamine River.
STEER CLEAR: A warning has been issued after a possible wastewater spill in the Condamine River.

Ageing plants behind latest Warwick waste “sludge” spill

Condamine River is being tested for contamination after another “sludge” overflow at the Warwick treatment plant.

The biosolid sludge, which contains excrement, spilt from the treatment plant over the weekend and has since been reported to the Department of Environment and science.

The event follows a recent spate of overflow incidents in recent weeks, including a

200kl Killarney overflow, which cost council over $2000 in clean up and a Bracker Creek spill.

A council spokeswoman said the series of blockages and malfunctions were under investigation.

“Council is currently investigating the limitations of the ageing infrastructure across the region and in this instance specifically, council is researching options to automise the operation of the biosolid treatment units,” she said.

The spokeswoman said there was “no visible sign of entry or evidence of any environmental harm” from the most recent spill.

“From observations made by council’s team at the site a negligible amount of liquid, if any, might have made it to the river which is unlikely to cause river pollution,” she said.

“The volume of the overflow was not large enough to cause environmental harms or risk to public health, and while the event does not meet the criteria for notification, we need to ascertain whether contaminants flowed into the river.

“This overflow event is regrettable, however council staff responded immediately to undertake remediation actions to minimise the impact on the environment and community once the overflow was discovered.”

In January 2017, the council was fined $12,190 for effluent releases.

Any residents or businesses with concerns from the overflow can phone 1300 697 372.