Gastro outbreak: Inaction on sewer spill irks resident

By Alice Lock -
7 comments
Andrew McDonald, of Peak Mowers, is upset by the waste which had not been cleaned up by the council until Tuesday. Photo / Duncan Brown
Andrew McDonald, of Peak Mowers, is upset by the waste which had not been cleaned up by the council until Tuesday. Photo / Duncan Brown

A sewerage manhole, which overflowed on to the grass berm in Havelock North three weeks ago, had only just been cleaned up by council last week.

With the recent gastro crisis, Peak Mowers owner Andrew McDonald was disappointed by the lack of action and response from the council.

He said he had spoken to the council on three different occasions but no one actioned his request until last Tuesday.

"My three main issues were why it happened, why it was there for so long and why there were chicken feathers amongst the mess?"

Mr McDonald was at his business on Cooper St when he witnessed the waste "spew" out of the sewer.

"It happened on Saturday, August 6, during the large storm that hit Hawke's Bay when we had no power."

He believed the generator must not have kicked in causing the sewage to flow out over the lid on to the grass.

He said there were a lot of feathers amongst the toilet paper and general waste, which he thought was very "odd".

"You do not usually expect to find that in a sewer and I expressed my concern to the council."

A Hastings District council spokeswoman said council staff had been unaware of the problem and apologised for taking so long to respond.

"Council had completed a first look at why the message from a member of the public asking that it be cleaned up did not reach the correct channels. The cause is not immediately obvious and council will look further into this."

Mr McDonald said he knew councillors had been and seen the waste but was shocked that nothing was actually done for at least two weeks.

Councillor Adrienne Pierce had looked at the mess and agreed that it was "disgusting". She was equally confused as to where the feathers may have come from.

The council denied there was any link to the gastro-outbreak, saying it was a very different matter.

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