The Waikato District Council will fast-track the upgrade of its computerised wastewater system as a result of the sewage spill in Raglan about 11 days ago.

This week the council passed a recommendation that would fast-track the current upgrade of the district’s SCADA network.

In a report prepared for the Waikato Regional Council after the overflow from a wastewater pump station on Wainui Road was noticed by a passer-by on Sunday, August 9, the district council said an estimated 18 cubic metres of untreated wastewater spilled during a 19-hour period, with some of this likely to have reached the estuary.

Staff were continuing to monitor estuary quality levels and the public was swarned not to collect seafood or fish in the area until further notice.

The report said the pump had stopped due to a partial blockage in the pipes running from the station. Several resets had been required to restore the pump levels back to normal.

The incident coincided with an upgrade of the pump station, which meant only one pump was working at the time.

“Normal operation would have resulted in the second pump starting following the failure of the first. This may have prevented the overflow depending on the exact nature of the blockage.”

The alarm alerting staff that the pump had stopped working was not received by on-duty staff due to a data entry issue, which the report said had been addressed.

The report also noted that blockages in the wastewater network and pumping station were a regular occurrence caused by inappropriate items being placed down toilets and drains.

Rachel Benn