ORC invites public to make contact on Shotover effluent stench

by Peter Newport - Sep 07, 2022

The Otago Regional Council has confirmed that it fined the Queenstown Lakes District Council last year for Shotover sewage overflows that breached the council’s resource consent.

Crux reported on Monday that many residents had noticed a particularly bad stench coming from the Shotover sewage plant but after 48 hours QLDC has not been able to explain to Crux what the problem is.

A statement last year from QLDC referred to “performance issues” with the sewage plant but has no current update on what has been done to address those issues.

The ORC told Crux this morning that the QLDC had been issued with an infringement notice in May 2021 and an abatement notice.

An abatement notice is a formal written notice issued under the Resource Management Act (RMA). It requires certain actions to be taken, or to cease, within a specified time.

ORC has not detailed the action required of QLDC, or a time limit, but told Crux:

“In May 2021, ORC issued QLDC with an infringement notice of $750 along with an abatement notice for surface run-off and ponding of treated wastewater from the Shotover Wastewater Treatment Plant’s disposal field.

"QLDC have provided regular updates to ORC on actions taken to address the ponding of treated wastewater, and ORC continues to monitor the site, including the operation of the disposal field and ongoing compliance with the consent conditions.

"The ORC hasn't received any odour complaints regarding the Shotover Wastewater Treatment Plant. Anyone experiencing pollution around Otago should contact the 24/7 ORC pollution hotline on 0800 800 033, or email [email protected]."

Source: Tami Sargeant  ORC Compliance officer.

You can read a copy of the QLDC resource consent application here, that details the council’s request to discharge human waste and hazardous waste overflows to “freshwater receiving environments.” This application was subsequently declined. 

Contacted again today QLDC said:

“We will share an update with you when we have it.”


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