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Chemical waste contaminates council treatment plants

Mareeba Wastewater Treatment Plant.

THE Mareeba Shire Council is calling on residents to watch what you toss after several council treatment plants were contaminated by chemical waste.

The illegal dumping of chemicals like solvents, fuel oils, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers that are poured down the drain can cause major contamination of sewers and compromise the efficiency of council wastewater treatment plants.

These treatment plants are used to remove hazardous materials that pose threats to residents and can negatively impact their health.

By dumping chemicals in the wrong way the integrity of these treatment plants and adversely residents’ health can be put at risk.

Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin is calling for residents to watch what they pour down their drains.

“We are aware of two occasions over the last month where discharges to the sewer have caused the bugs to die at our wastewater treatment plants,” she said.

“If you are starting your business back up and discharging wastewater to the sewer please check that you have a trade waste approval.

“People who do the wrong thing will face large fines so if you’re unsure about how to correctly and safely dispose of hazardous substances, please get into contact with council.”

Council has in place a process of trade waste approvals for a range of activities and businesses such as laundries, hairdressers and restaurants.

If waste is disposed of in compliance with these approvals no harm should come to the biological process occurring at the treatment plants.

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