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Mystery Benalla oil dumper causes sewer drama

31 July 2020

Benalla residents and businesses are being reminded to recycle their used motor oil and not dump it into the town’s sewer system.

North East Water is investigating an increasing number of incidents where oil is being poured down the drain and contaminating the local sewage treatment plant.

Executive Corporate Services, Anthony Hernan, said Benalla is the only town in the region where this happens on a regular basis.

“We believe it could be one person doing the wrong thing, as our investigations show the oil is coming from a particular area of town”, Mr Hernan said.

“It is beyond belief that such little regard is being shown for the environment, as well as the community’s sewer infrastructure.

“Benalla Rural City makes it really easy for people to recycle their used oil – all they have to do is take it to the Benalla Landfill & Resource Recovery Centre.

“When oil is dumped into the sewer, it has a major impact on the sewerage system and greatly affects the operation of our treatment plants.

“It clogs up pipes and screens, and causes huge oil slicks across our treatment lagoons.

“The issue results in clean-up costs which are ultimately passed on to our customers.”

Mr Hernan added, “Our teams have seen this type of behaviour in Benalla over several years and it is really disappointing”.

“Under the Water Act, we are able to issue infringement notices for such offences.

“If anyone has any information about illegal dumping, please call our Trade Waste team on 1300 361 622.”