News

Peed off: man uses city’s water supply as toilet

A man was caught urinating in Awoonga Dam, which supplies water to Gladstone.
A man was caught urinating in Awoonga Dam, which supplies water to Gladstone. Contributed

THE call of nature has landed a pilot in hot water after he was snapped urinating in the city's key drinking supply and huge recreational dam.

The man, who works for Australia by Seaplane, was photographed by a tourist during a recent visit to Lake Awoonga Dam.

The image has caused outrage across Gladstone.

The employee will be punished for his actions, company chief pilot Vance Krahenbring told The Observer on Thursday.

To add insult to injury, the pilot was just a few hundreds metres from a public toilet.

Holiday maker Nicole Atkinson said her son alerted her to the fact the man was peeing in the water.

She sent one of the images to Gladstone Regional Council for investigation.

But the council has washed its hands off the matter, saying it was a Gladstone Area Water Board problem.

The water board said there would be no health problems for city residents, but the pilot made a grave error.

"It's a dam and obviously that's where Gladstone are drawing their water supply from and that's disgusting," Ms Atkinson said.

"As a person that has a lot of allergies, if I was to drink that water it could make me very sick.

"I can't drink tap water at the best of times - I'm allergic to chemicals."

A pilot has been caught urinating in Awoonga Dam, which supplies water to Gladstone.
A pilot has been caught urinating in Awoonga Dam, which supplies water to Gladstone. Contributed

Lake Awoonga Caravan Park manager Jan Lawlor said using the dam as a toilet was disrespectful.

"What people do when they're in the water no one knows, but to stand there when other people are around, I think it's disrespectful," she said.

"There are public toilets down there, by the playground, there's absolutely no need for it."

Water board CEO Jim Grayson said "the sheer dilution factor makes the effect inconsequential".

"It's not good behaviour but in terms of the health quality there's no difference," he said.

"It goes from the dam to the treatment plant in the city that we own and operate, which has extra testing procedures.

"It's then on-delivered to the council who supply it to mums and dads."

Mr Grayson said GAWB made the decision to allow recreational activities in the dam based on science.

The board did not reveal whether the pilot was authorised to be on the dam banks.

Mr Krahenbring said he was taking the matter very seriously.

"I have launched an incident report within the company and am investigating with the pilot concerned," he said.

"I don't consider this sort of action to be the right thing to do, and if it is found that this was what actually happened I will be disciplining the pilot."

Topics:  awoonga dam, editors picks, public urination, water supply



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