Last Thursday Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) temporarily closed Bremner Bay on Lake Wānaka to public swimming and paddling as a precaution after a wastewater spill, and it was reopened on Saturday.
The spill was caused by a blockage in the wastewater network on the corner of Aubrey Road and Rata Street. It was first reported around 8.30am, and fixed by council contractors within one hour.
Wastewater entered the stormwater network and there is a possibility this may have discharged to the Bremner Bay outflow. Council officers tested samples of lake water and ‘no swimming’ signage was kept in place until water quality test results came back positive last Saturday.
Wastewater also spilled onto Kellys Flat Recreational Reserve. The affected area has been cordoned off and a clean-up is underway.
QLDC general manager of property and infrastructure Peter Hansby asked members of the public to heed warning signs.
“Bremner Bay is a popular spot, especially for young children as the water is shallow. Hence the need to temporarily close this part of the foreshore for public swimming as a precautionary measure until we have the results of water quality tests. We appreciate the community’s patience and co-operation at this time and will provide further updates as soon as we can,” said Hansby. "With the weather warming up and more people taking to the water, this is a timely reminder for everyone to be considerate about what they are putting into the wastewater system. Blockages caused by fats, nappies and other foreign objects are the most common cause of wastewater spills and with the community’s support these events can be easily avoided,”.
QLDC media and channels advisor Jack Barlow added, “Only human waste and toilet paper should be flushed down the toilet. Everything else – including things such as wipes, sanitary products, dental floss and nappies, and fat, oil and grease from cooking – should be put in the bin.”