Emergency repairs had to be carried out at Kingaroy’s wastewater treatment plant after “fatbergs” caused blockages

February 20, 2024

Trade waste dumped illegally into Kingaroy’s sewerage system has been blamed for South Burnett Regional Council being issued with an Environmental Protection Order.

The EPO was issued in late January after Council self-reported a large inflow of fat, oil and grease (FOG) into its Kingaroy wastewater treatment plant which led to a small discharge into a drain linked to Kingaroy Creek.

The order, issued by the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI), ordered Council to fix the problem and begin twice-weekly monitoring of treated effluent, weekly monitoring of water flow rates in the Stuart River at Weens Bridge, and conduct an independent audit of Kingaroy trade waste inputs.

“The FOG waste deposited (into Council’s sewers) was beyond acceptable limits, causing blockages in the pipes and damage to the wastewater treatment plant, resulting in unauthorised discharge from the sewerage system,” a Council spokesperson said.

“While the blockages and damage to the wastewater treatment plant were not caused by Council, Council has taken responsibility for ensuring that the issue is addressed.

“Blockages from FOG waste are commonly known as ‘fatbergs’, and are an issue for many water service providers around the world.

“The incident has prompted immediate and comprehensive actions on Council’s part in accordance with the EPO.

“Emergency repairs at the wastewater treatment plant are under way, and a thorough assessment of the sewerage system has been conducted.

“Council is fully committed to rectifying any environmental impact caused by this incident.

“Our communication with DESI is ongoing, and we are providing regular updates on the progress of our response to the EPO requirements.

“Additionally, Council is undertaking a review and will enhance our trade waste compliance measures, reinforcing our commitment to preventing similar incidents in the future.

“This enhanced compliance action includes, as a first step, writing to all holders of trade waste permits reminding them of what can and cannot be deposited in the sewerage system, and the harm that can be caused from illegal dumping of material down the sewerage system.

“Council remains dedicated to environmental stewardship and we appreciate the community’s understanding as we work diligently to resolve this matter.

“Council also asks all residents of SBRC to use the sewerage system responsibly and understand what can and cannot be flushed or deposited.”


2 Responses to "Dumping Damages Sewage Plant"

  1. I would suggest that perpetrators are many and varied.

    The F and O and G also comes from every kitchen, both commercial or residential. There may be many other discharges to the system causing problems, too.

    Years ago Murgon Council installed a truck wash facility at the sale yards / meatworks area. It was connected to the town treatment plant and the cow poop caused untold problems with the running of the treatment plant for the town. It had to be separated to solve the problem.

    Who knows why a highly educated engineer would connect it to the main system. Just proves that high education and practical experience are worlds apart!

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