Mareeba Shire Council is reminding residents and businesses the importance of properly disposing of hazardous chemicals and oils.
The illegal discharge of chemicals into the Mareeba and Kuranda sewerage system has recently on more than one occasion, compromised the efficiency of two Council wastewater treatment plants.
Cooking oils, paints, solvents, fuel oils, pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers poured down the drain can cause major contamination of sewers and has the potential to cause damage to the filtration systems that separate the contaminants from the ocean.
Mayor Angela Toppin said all wastewater treatment plants in Mareeba Shire rely on biological processes to remove harmful nutrients. “If there is something in the sewage that the bugs do not like, they can die easily and this can affect the quality of treated water that is then discharged to the environment,” Cr Toppin said.
“We are aware of two occasions over the last month where discharges to the sewer have caused the bugs to die at our wastewater treatment plants.
“If you are starting your business back up and discharging wastewater to the sewer, please check that you have a trade waste approval.
“People who do the wrong thing will face large fines so if you’re unsure of how to correctly and safely dispose of hazardous substances, please get in contact with Council,” Cr Toppin said.
Council has a process of trade waste approvals for a range of activities, such as laundries, hairdressers and restaurants, that discharge to the sewer.
If discharges occur in compliance with approvals, no harm should come to the biological process occurring at the wastewater treatment plants.
For more information, contact Council on 1300 308 461.