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FINED AGAIN: Development fast-tracked after water test fail

Run off is continuing from the Pinnacle development into the Maroochy River at Picnic Point Esplanade, Maroochydore.
Run off is continuing from the Pinnacle development into the Maroochy River at Picnic Point Esplanade, Maroochydore. Patrick Woods

A COAST development that previously came under-fire for discharging contaminated water into the Maroochy River has been slapped with another fine.

Walter Iezzi's Pinnacle development in Picnic Point has come to the attention of concerned locals over the past few months due to a rust-coloured discharge flowing into the river, caused by construction of the basement level.

The group was previously issued with a stop work notice and a fine after failing to adequately treat the groundwater, with a containment boom since put in place to attempt to stem the flow.

Run off is continuing from the Pinnacle development into the Maroochy River at Picnic Point Esplanade, Maroochydore.
Run off is continuing from the Pinnacle development into the Maroochy River at Picnic Point Esplanade, Maroochydore. Patrick Woods

Council previously said the water was being treated at a "high standard before discharging into the river", but further tests have revealed this is no longer the case.

According to a council spokesperson, "the latest results indicate that the relevant water quality criteria exceeds the allowable limits for discharge into the environment under the relevant environmental legislation".

The developer was fined $12,500 in August and has since been issued another two penalty infringement notices this week totalling $21,757.

A Walter Iezzi spokesperson said "despite the appearances of the water, it is still safe", but they acknowledge the colour of the water at times had been "less than ideal".

Pinnacle Picnic Point
Pinnacle Picnic Point Contributed

"When building this close to a natural water table there are challenges that can arise, during the excavation process, when work needs to be conducted up to seven metres below sea level," they said.

"The de-watering process is critical to this phase of construction and ensures the water that comes out of the ground is correctly treated before being allowed to pass back into the environment.

"We wish to confirm that all water being fed back into the environment is independently tested on a weekly basis and a copy of these results are also provided to council."

The Walter Iezzi Property Group is now "fast tracking" works to "progressively reduce the need for the de-watering system over the next 2-6 weeks".

The impact of the discharge is only aesthetic, according to the spokesperson, who said the minerals in the groundwater "cause otherwise clear water to discolour when it is exposed to air" and "when left alone the minerals drop to the bottom and the water becomes clear again".

Council advised it will continue to monitor the site.

Topics:  business development environment maroochy river picnic point pinnacle


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