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Pollution Response Saves Marine Life


July 12, 2002

North Shore City Council worked with Auckland Regional Council (ARC) and a concrete supplier late into the night on Wednesday (July 10) to clean up a potentially damaging concrete spill.

A 'pour' lever on a concrete truck was accidentally triggered by the driver in the afternoon as the truck travelled along Calliope Road between Glen and Shoal Bay Roads in Devonport.

North Shore City's environmental protection team leader, Michael Webster, says a clean up team arrived at the scene shortly after the incident and used water blasters, fire hoses and sucker trucks to prevent the concrete from entering Ngataringa Bay.

"We're aware these methods can be noisy and apologise for any inconvenience to residents. Our priority at the time was protecting the surrounding environment by stopping concrete getting into our drains.

"The lime component in concrete is extremely harmful to mangrove environments and aquatic and marine life in general," Mr Webster says.

If anyone is involved in a concrete spill the council advises them to contain it and shovel it back on site.

"The worst thing people can do is wash concrete down the drain. It then enters our stormwater system, waterways and beach water. Dilution is not the solution. Water used to wash away concrete only dissolves the lime and results in a much larger volume of harmful pollution entering the environment.

"In this instance a lot of concrete was spilt, nearly half a cubic metre. The concrete supplier let the right people know as soon as it became aware of what was had occurred and we were able to contain the spill."

If people notice a pollution event or would like information on how to dispose of waste safely the council encourages them to contact either North Shore City Actionline on 486 8600 or ARC Pollution Hotline on 377 3107 as soon as possible.

"We aim to work with people to prevent spills harming our environment and dispose of waste appropriately. In the event of a pollution incident an officer from North Shore City Council or ARC on standby to help minimise any environmental damage," Mr Webster says.

(ends)

For further information please contact North Shore City Council's team leader - environmental protection, Mike Webster, on 486 8600.

ENDS


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