Stink raised over raw sewage

AFTER two incidents in the past 12 months in which raw sewage was discharged into the Richmond River at Casino, the NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water has asked Richmond Valley Council to lift its game.

The first incident occurred in August last year when an estimated 500kl of untreated sewage was discharged into the river near East Street, Casino, over 14 days when a blockage developed in the sewer system.

According to a report to council last week, the sewage was discharged through a previously unknown overflow drain which has since been decommissioned.

In the second incident, council believes about 340kl of raw sewage may have been discharged into the river near Simpsons Parade.

It was discovered only when residents in Hickey Street complained about an unpleasant odour.

According to the report it, too, was caused by a blockage in the sewer system with raw sewage flowing into the river from another overflow drain the council was unaware existed.

After the Environment Protection Authority raised concerns with council about the two ‘overflows’, the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water decided to impose a pollution reduction program (PRP) on the council’s licence for the Casino Sewage Treatment Plant.

The six-point PRP requires the council to pinpoint all overflow points in the sewerage system, assess the likelihood of overflows from each of them, and develop a plan including a time frame to remediate/manage all overflows.

The council will also have to identify ways it can improve the performance of the Casino sewage reticulation system and highlight any pumping stations that may not be working up to scratch and determine whether they should be upgraded.

The council, which has accepted the PRP as ‘reasonable and fair’, has until July 31 next year to implement the program.



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