Gympie Regional Council has revealed there was an uncontrolled sewage spill into the Mary River last year.
Gympie Regional Council has revealed there was an uncontrolled sewage spill into the Mary River last year. Frances klein

Mary River scene of environmental accident, council reveals

A RAW sewage spill into the Mary River and trouble replacing key staff have put Gympie Regional Council's new water business unit under the pump.

Receiving an update to the unit's progress this week, councillors heard the unit had encountered a few snags which were still being fixed.

One was a land slippage near Albert Park last year which the report said caused "an uncontrolled release of raw sewage into the Mary River".

As a result, a 700m stretch of sewer mains is being upgraded from next month to stop further damage from land slips.


Calls for water infrastructure reform.
The council's new water business unit has been under the pump. Contributed

Trouble replacing staff was another hiccup which caused parts of the water plan to be delayed by six months.

While more than half of the council's Journey to 2020 plan is on track, councillors were told at this week's workshop progress on two planning components - the Network Infrastructure Master Plan and the Sewage Treatment Master Plan - had become blocked.

The plans are key to managing the region's water and sewage capacity.

A water business unit spokesman said it had been a "struggle" to replace departed planning staff who had been working on them.

This included having some job hunters apply only to yank their name back out of the ring.


Sewage spill at the treatment plant in Gympie
A new screen band at the Gympie Sewage Treatment Plant has also been delayed. Renee Pilcher

"It's disappointing to have those (initiatives) at risk," he said.

It was not the only delayed work, either.

A $180,000 replacement band screen for Gympie's Sewerage Treatment Plant has also been held up.

The report said the current screen is "performing poorly" and "near the end of its life", and was supposed to be replaced in late October

However the new screen is apparently still sitting on a dock overseas.

"It's been difficult to get it here," the spokesman said.

The hope now was for it to be replaced by the end of this month - but that was not guaranteed, he said.