Published: 21 June 2019
Last Updated: 1 July 2019
The impact of stormwater quality on the Ahuriri Estuary is the focus of a new campaign in Napier.
It’s a joint initiative from Napier City and Hawke’s Bay Regional Councils aimed at educating local industry and residents. Both Councils say it’s important everyone knows what goes on the ground can contaminate stormwater before it gets to the sea and waterways.
The main message is that if we all work together we can clean up our waterways.
Stormwater is the rain water that falls on roofs, yards and roads that doesn’t soak into the ground. As a lot of Napier City is low lying and flat, any excess rain water goes into the stormwater pipes – the network that protects homes and streets from flooding and which flushes out to the Ahuriri Estuary.
Napier City Council Manager Environmental Solutions, Cameron Burton, says the most important message is that only rain should drain to the urban waterways’ stormwater network.
“When it rains, about 70% of Napier’s stormwater is carried to Te Whanganui-a-Orotū (Ahuriri Estuary). The rest is carried to the Pacific Ocean. This means both the estuary and the ocean can get dirty from everything we do around it,” says Mr Burton.
“When we leave contaminants, such as paint, oils, dust, rust, dirt, chemicals, and litter exposed to rain, or don’t pick up windblown litter or dog poo, the water that flows off the land picks these items up or dissolves them and they pollute these environments. Everyone can help protect the estuary if we ensure that only rain goes down the drain.”
Hawkes Bay Regional Council Environmental Team Leader Mike Alebardi says pollutants can be very toxic to aquatic life and often increase algae and bugs in the water, negatively affecting ecosystems and people.
However, he says everyone living and working in Napier can play a part in healing the estuary by making sure only rain drains into the stormwater drains.
“Members of the public also have a big part to play by quickly reporting any chemical or contamination spills to the Regional Council's 24-hour Pollution Hotline on 0800 108 838, or to the Napier City Council on 06 835 7579,” says Mr Alebardi.
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