Nov 15, 2018

Sludge Spill Closes Beach in South Australia

Sludge spilled out from a wastewater treatment plant and into Christie Creek overnight in South Australia

Sludge spilled out from a wastewater treatment plant and into Christie Creek overnight in South Australia
Sludge spilled out from a wastewater treatment plant and into Christie Creek overnight in South Australia.

A section of Christies Beach in South Australia has been closed following a break-in at a wastewater treatment plant that caused a sludge overflow.

According to The Advertiser, the sludge spilled out from the treatment plant and into Christie Creek overnight on Nov. 11.

The spill is believed to be contained to the creek, according to The Advertiser. Christies Beach has been closed to the public as a precaution and should not be used for swimming.

The SA Water crews are cleaning up the spill from the creek, according to The Advertiser. The crews are working with the Environmental Protection Authority and SA Health to ensure the water quality is safe for swimmers when it reopens.

Dr. Daniel Hoefel, SA Water production and treatment acting senior manager, said they will be working with police to investigate the situation.

“We’ll be working with police to facilitate their investigation, and will also look at our security measures to ensure they’re fit for purpose,” Hoefel said to The Advertiser. “The treatment plant is operating as normal to treat and recycle wastewater produced by our customers across the southern suburbs.”

According to The Advertiser, water samples have been taken and are being analyzed. Results are not expected until Nov. 13.

Dr. David Cunliffe, SA Health principal water quality adviser, said people should avoid swimming at least 100m either side of the creek until tests confirm it to be safe.

“The affected area is clearly marked with signage,” Cunliffe said to The Advertiser. “It doesn’t appear as though the sea water is affected but it’s prudent for us to take the precaution, just in case.”

Cunliffe also said if people enter the sea and develop a gastrointestinal illness, including diarrhoea and vomiting illness they should contact a medical practitioner.

According to The Advertiser, it is anticipated that the 200m section of water will remain closed to swimmers until the test results confirm the water is unaffected by the spill.

In May 2017, part of the beach had to be closed when a chlorination system fault at the plant led to six megalitres of un-disinfected water being discharge into the ocean.

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