Caught short by fee for effluent
A BUCCA man whose septic tank overflowed at the weekend was told he would have to pay an extra $220 to get a Bundaberg Regional Council employee to open the gates to a wastewater treatment plant so he could get rid of the effluent.
Chris Robinson said he had no problem getting someone willing to come out to his property and empty the septic tank, but he baulked at paying the extra to the council.
“Basically if your septic starts playing up after midday on Friday you're stuffed,” he said.
Mr Robinson said he saw it as a health issue.
“If people decide they can't afford to pay the $220 and just live with it they're going to have effluent coming out of the system all weekend,” he said. “The danger is animals and small children could be affected by it.
“I don't think the council should impose that fee on rural residents with septic tanks.
“There's a lot of us who live in the region.”
Mr Robinson said the $220 fee was especially steep when it only cost between $260 and $300 to get his tank pumped out.
He said he held off getting his septic tank pumped at the weekend because of the extra charge.
Bundaberg Regional Council infrastructure services director Wayne Cunningham said the Millbank wastewater treatment plant was open seven days a week.
“On Saturdays and Sundays it's open from 6am to 7am for just these sorts of emergencies,” he said.
“Most septic carriers know that if they do an urgent job on, say, a Saturday afternoon, they can wait until Sunday morning and deliver it to the treatment plant between 6 and 7am while the plant is open.”
Mr Cunningham said there were some septic disposal charges for all transported liquid and sludge waste approved for discharge at the council's Millbank plant.
The disposal of septage, portable toilet or other approved liquid waste to the Millbank plant had to happen under approved conditions and was charged on a calculated volume basis of $30 a kilolitre.
“Out of hours fees and charges may range between $147 to $210 depending on the time and date of disposal,” he said.