12 February 2018
Rotorua residents can expect more rain during the next 24 hours with a new warning in place.
Any heavy rain may cause streams and rivers to rise rapidly and surface flooding and slips are also possible so driving conditions may become hazardous and caution is urged.
The current warning for Bay Of Plenty including Rotorua is valid until 8am tomorrow [Tuesday 13 February] with periods of heavy rain and possible thunderstorms forecast.
High alert at wastewater treatment plant following overflow today
As a result of rainfall over the weekend we have had very high inflow into the Rotorua Wastewater Treatment Plant yesterday (Sunday) and this morning (Monday). This exceeded the rate at which the plant was able to pump treated wastewater to the forest, resulting in treated wastewater storage ponds reaching capacity at about 7am and later this morning overflowing intermittently via the emergency overflow pipeline to Puarenga Stream.
The overflow has since stopped with inflow to the plant decreasing and the ponds gradually emptying.
Council staff will continue to manage and monitor the situation to ensure everything possible is done to avoid any further overflows.
However, more rain is forecast this afternoon and for the next few days so the situation will be dependent on the amount of inflow and the plant’s capacity to deal with this.
Please note that the overflow is treated wastewater – ie wastewater which has been through full treatment and which, due to the rain, contains a higher than normal amount of rainwater, diluting it further.
Water samples have been taken upstream and downstream of the overflow pipe in the stream but it will take a day or so for the results to be received. Bay of Plenty Regional Council has been notified and Council is also notifying relevant staff at Bay of Plenty District Health Board and Toi Te Ora Public Health.
As a general precaution, people are advised to not swim in any waterways after substantial rainfall in case of pollutants, which can be washed into them from a number of sources.
Signs will go up in the Puarenga Stream/Puarenga Bay areas advising people not to swim.
Regional Council rain data shows Rotorua has had 123mm of rain since Friday.