STEER CLEAR: The Condamine River has gone to s —t. Picture: Steven Kasper.
STEER CLEAR: The Condamine River has gone to s —t. Picture: Steven Kasper.

S—T SITUATION: Contaminated water flows into Condamine

CONTAMINATED water leaked from the Warwick Sewage Treatment Plant into the Condamine River Wednesday afternoon.

An operational malfunction caused effluent water, which was only partially treated, to flow into the river and erode a significant part of the river bank.

The incident was "regrettable and accidental in nature" according to a spokeswoman from the Southern Downs Regional Council.

"Council immediately undertook remediation action once the leak was discovered," she said.

"Officers cleaned and disinfected the spill site, and also conducted required water sampling and erecting of pollution signs.

"We have submitted an initial incident report to the Department of Environment and Science."

The water quality in the areas surrounding the leak has been sent for testing and council staff advise the flow of the river has been severely affected by drought which should "mitigate potential contamination".

"In the interest of public safety, we will also conduct structural investigation of the river bank over next two days to assess the erosion," the spokeswoman said.

The council will also conduct an incident investigation to review the plant control system and operation and implement remedial measures where necessary to avoid similar situations in future.

While the council gathers more facts on the water quality, residents are advised to avoid accessing or using the waterway near the Warwick Sewerage Treatment Plant and to avoid fishing or consuming fish caught near the spill site.

Any residents or businesses with concerns from the overflow can contact the Customer Service Centre on 1300 697 372.