Police in Christchurch, New Zealand, have been ordered to remove more than 300 litres of alcohol they poured down a drain. Police confiscated 343 litres of booze from a Christchurch restaurant in June after it was caught displaying alcohol for sale without a licence.
The alcohol was tipped out at the central Christchurch police station on Thursday after the Christchurch District Court issued a destruction order.
The haul, worth about $20,000, included French champagnes, $800 red wines, expensive cognac and 18-year-old whisky.It was tipped into a vehicle wash bay drain, which led to a 1000 litre holding tank connected to the sewerage system, but the Christchurch City Council on Friday ordered the alcohol's removal.
"The council however does not accept this type of raw (undiluted) waste into the sewer network and we have notified the NZ Police to have their tanks sucked out by a waste disposal company immediately where it can be treated off site appropriately. The police have agreed and have actioned this immediately," council waters and waste head John Mackie said.
Police alcohol harm reduction unit Sergeant Jon Harris earlier said anything entering the drains there went through "a series of filters" before entering holding tanks.
A police spokeswoman said the station's vehicle wash facilities were required to have a trade waste consent and an "approved treatment system" for disposing water to the city's wastewater system.
"The wash water goes into the sewerage system, not the stormwater drains, and therefore has no impact on waterways," she said.
The Christchurch City Council Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater Bylaw 2014 states no-one may allow anything "that causes or is likely to cause a nuisance" to enter the stormwater system, either directly or indirectly, unless authorised by the council.