Warning issued for dumping waste in suburban street

Dumping ground . . . The manhole cover in Doon St, Mosgiel, which has been used to dump wastewater. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

The Dunedin City Council has issued a warning to a sewage disposal company for dumping waste in a suburban Mosgiel street.

Council 3 Waters group manager Tom Dyer said the council warned the company that was discharging waste to a manhole in Doon St.

The manhole was connected to the city’s network.

There were designated waste tanker discharge points at Green Island and Tahuna Waste Water Treatment Plants, Mr Dyer said.

Any other discharge within the network must be arranged by specific permission only. The council declined to name the company it had warned.

In response to questions from The Star, a Vacuum Tanks Services spokesman said his company used the manhole during an emergency.

All matters arising have been addressed by the Dunedin City Council and Vacuum Tanks Services, he said.

Doon St residents believed it was not an isolated incident and several companies were dumping waste there.

One resident, who declined to be named, said he had seen several companies dumping waste at the street’s manhole in the past two to three years.

“It’s a health and safety issue,” he said.

“At one point it was every second day. It had caused a smell and disturbance in the street.”

Last year, the waste overflowed from the manhole and covered the width of the street, he said.

“It splashed all over the street.

“Cars were driving through it.”

He loaned the truck driver his hose to clean it up, which took over an hour, he said.

The last time he saw a truck dumping waste was February 17.

Another resident, who also declined to be named, said the unpleasant smell of waste would waft into her house when it was being dumped.

“I used to live in Green Island and thought the tip was bad,” she said.

The smell also seemed to seep up and out of her toilet.

She originally thought the trucks were clearing the network, before talking to her neighbours who suggested waste was actually being dumped.

Birchleigh Residential Care Centre chief executive officer Malcolm Hendry said he was alerted to the issue by the council.

“It doesn’t appear to have had any impact on our residents or staff at all.”