Hamilton City Council fined $54k for overflow of wastewater, including human sewage, into Waikato River

The Hamilton City Council has been fined $54,000 for a discharge of untreated wastewater into the Waikato River.

The general location on the Waikato River of the wastewater incident in February 2018. Source: 1 NEWS

The discharge came from the council’s central city wastewater pumping station on Anzac Parade, Waikato Regional Council said in a statement today.

It occurred over a 19-hour period in February 2018.

It contained an estimated 1.7 million litres of wastewater which contained human sewage and went directly into the Waikato River, the regional council says.

A city council engineer became aware of the overflow through a routine system check.

The overflow was due to human error that resulted in both the primary and back up equipment designed to operate the pumps and alarms to not work.

District Court Judge Melinda Dickey said the Hamilton City Council was "careless".

"Any overflow would result in a direct discharge of untreated human effluent into a river of significance.”

Judge Dickey said the river “required a more robust set of protections."