Unfuly tree roots are to blame for a sewage overflow that caused the closure of a popular Whakatipu beach last week, Queenstown’s council says.
In a media release, the council says a wastewater overflow at the bottom of Arawata Tce was reported on New Year’s Day.
The cause of the overflow was found to be a manhole blocked by tree roots.
While the nearby Sunshine Bay beach was closed due to a potential contamination risk, a council spokesman tells Mountain Scene water sample tests taken on the first three days of this month all came back negative regarding contamination.
‘‘Warning signage has been removed and Sunshine Bay is open for swimming and other recreational activities,’’ he says.
On the question of how council will prevent similar overflows from happening in future, the spokesman says council generally tries to lay wastewater infrastructure ‘‘well away from trees’’.
‘‘Regarding this particular issue, tree roots have been cleared from around the infrastructure.’’
The spokesman says council isn’t aware of other instances of water contamination in the district, but encourages anyone taking to the water to refer to the Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website for updates on local swimming spots.