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Community needs to protect its assets

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Vandalism of Council assets will not be tolerated by the Wairoa District Council.

Council staff believe a utility hole cover was deliberately prised open allowing an overflow of treated wastewater from the Fitzroy Street drains near the overflow discharge point off Kopu Road.

The manhole cover was bolted down and could not have just come open by itself and photos show the wastewater access lid has clearly been tampered with.

The issue came to Council’s attention for the second time in recent months, on Tuesday afternoon with photos on Facebook showing treated wastewater being discharged near the roadside.

There has also been an incident of damage to a sewer pump station in Kopu Road.

Wairoa District Council chief executive Steven May said the cost of the damage is a direct cost to the community.

“Throughout the district, we have a number of inspection covers which allow staff or contractors to inspect the pipes. The fact Council’s infrastructure was deliberately targeted with the cover tampered with is appalling.

“By breaking the seal treated wastewater pooled on the ground. There were no health or safety issues as a result of the leakage.

“We will not tolerate this deliberate damage to Council assets, and therefore ratepayer property, and are working with the Police to identify who is responsible.

“Our staff responded to the incident as soon as we were alerted and has increased its monitoring of the situation.

“Council immediately reported the issue to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council which was satisfied with how staff dealt with the situation.

“If anyone does see any suspicious behaviour around manholes or any Council owned property please report it to the Police or Council’s 24/7 phone number 838 7309.”

6 March 2019

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