Whanganui District Council has been battling a stench from its sewage treatment plant.
The solution on Friday was to pump raw sewage out to sea.
Imagine the stink if a dairy farmer did that.
I am not suggesting that dumping dairy effluent in the sea, or any other waterway, would be acceptable, just pointing out the double standard.
Farmers have been prosecuted for ponding of effluent which could enter a water way while councils get away with deliberately pumping raw sewage into rivers and the sea.
Agriculture Minister David Carter was right when he said, in reference to dairying & clean streams:
The small number of dairy farmers who ignore effluent disposal requirements are damaging the reputation of the dairy industry as a whole.
It is simply unacceptable to pollute. Not only does it antagonise environmental organisations but also wider New Zealand. More importantly, it risks the hard-gained reputation that New Zealand Inc. has established in our international markets.
There is no excuse for wanton pollution of waterways but this isn’t just a country issue.
Earlier this month sewage was visible off the coast of Dunedin and Dave Haywood at Public Address discovered the people of Christchurch might be flushing their loos into the Avon and Heathcote rivers.
Well, frankly, this sucks. And it sucks that I even have to point out how much it sucks. Surely it’s absolutely obvious that you shouldn’t dump raw sewage into a river — any river — let alone a river that runs through a major city. Even if it’s only when the wastewater network becomes ‘overloaded’ (which, incidentally, the council expects will be around twice a year).
While dairy farmers are – quite rightly – being fined if they allow cattle or effluent , near water ways, whole cities are discharging untreated sewage into rivers and the sea.
That’s what I call a very inconvenient truth.
Hat Tip: Alf Grumble
South Island researchers have developed a machine which could turn human waste and whatever else goes in to sewage treatment ponds into crude oil.