CLEANUP: Workers hose off the Maleny skate park after fixing a sewage leak.
CLEANUP: Workers hose off the Maleny skate park after fixing a sewage leak. John McCutcheon

Water boss confident no sewage contaminated creek

UNITYWATER maintains no sewage from a leak at Maleny has contaminated Obi Obi Creek, despite not having its test results available yet.

The leak emanated from cracks in concrete at the town's skate park and ran off downhill to the bank of nearby Obi Obi Creek.

It was reported to Unitywater on January 6 and was repaired 11 days later, on Tuesday.

The Maleny skate park slopes towards the banks of Obi Obi Creek.
The Maleny skate park slopes towards the banks of Obi Obi Creek. John McCutcheon

The site is upstream of popular swimming hole Gardners Falls as well as Baroon Pocket Dam.

Unitywater infrastructure services executive manager Rob Dowling said on Wednesday that a number of water quality parameters were tested on Tuesday to determine if the water was within health and recreational guidelines.

"We have tested upstream and downstream,” Mr Dowling said.

"The results will be available at the end of the week.”

He said Unitywater was confident the leak did not reach the creek based on the rate of flow.

Sewage leaks from cracks in the concrete at the skate park in Maleny Showgrounds.
Sewage leaks from cracks in the concrete at the skate park in Maleny Showgrounds. Contributed

It was coming from a residential connected septic overflow pipe.

"The volume was a trickle that was contained on site.”

Environmental consultant Trevor Lloyd said he could not comment on the specific Maleny situation but in general he said sewer overflow into creeks happened quite regularly.

He said the effects tended to be worse when the weather conditions were dry because there was no rain to dilute the effluent.

Those effects included nutrient enrichment and contamination with bacterial and faecal matter.

He said the distance a contamination could travel in a creek depended on the volume and concentration.

"It could go kilometres,” Mr Lloyd said.

He said the effects tended to be severe during the leak but did not last for long.

"If it is sealed, those effects could well have dissipated,” Mr Lloyd said.



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