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Waikanae’s Kakariki Stream was the victim of potentially hazardous pollution earlier this week.
Greater Wellington Regional Council (GW) was contacted by several Waikanae residents who were alarmed at the amount of milky-coloured substance flowing down the stream on Monday morning.
“The substance was probably something like paint or PVA glue which gives the opaque, white effect,” says GW Enforcement Investigator, Trudy Richards. “It’s difficult to say exactly where it came from, as the stream receives stormwater from drains in nearby residential areas, as well as commercial areas in Parata and Omahi Streets.”
“There’s a lot of life in this stream with its eels, ducks and native plantings, so this kind of pollution could be really damaging to that ecosystem. One caller was very concerned about potential harm to the eels she regularly feeds in the stream near her property.”
Discharging any substance other than rainwater to the stormwater network or watercourses is a breach of the Resource Management Act 1991 and may result in enforcement action such as formal warnings, infringement notices or prosecution.
“It is disappointing to see these sorts of incidents still occurring, given our efforts to get the message out there in the community about the connectivity between stormwater drains, streams and the sea,” Trudy says. “In urban areas, roadside drains and the pipes that collect rainwater from buildings and yards typically discharge this water untreated into local streams or the sea.”
If anyone has any information about the substance in the stream or knows where it may have come from, or would like to report another environmental incident, please call the GW environment hotline: 0800 496 734.