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Freshwater fishing – city style


31 October 2002

ARC staff and councillors are fishing out of stormwater drains in Auckland city today to make the point that stormwater runs directly to the sea, untreated.

“We are asking people to take some simple actions to make sure that only rain goes down our drains,” said ARC chairperson Gwen Bull.

“Aucklanders love our beaches, and I believe that if we explain to them what they can do to make them cleaner, they’ll do their bit. It’s just a case of making the connection and being careful where you pour oils, detergents, paints, and drop your cigarette butts.”

Aside from pollution caused by business and industrial activities, the ARC estimates that people in their homes also add to stormwater pollution everyday.

ARC estimates that people washing their cars on their driveways or the road send 500,000 litres of actual detergent down stormwater drains every year, along with vehicle grit containing toxic heavy metals and chemicals – that’s half a detergent bottle for each Aucklander.

Aucklanders drop an estimated 25,000,000 cigarette butts on roads every year, which also end up in our harbours.

“Aucklanders can easily avoid causing some pollution by changing their habits. It’s not hard and our streams and beaches benefit,” said Councillor Bull.

“There are simple actions that everyone can take to look after our waterways. Join the ARC’s ongoing environmental action campaign for households – The Big Clean Up – and find out what you can do,” said Councillor Bull.

These are some of the simple actions ARC advises people to take at home:

- Wash your vehicles on the grass, which soaks up soapy water, or take it to a carwash where the water gets sent to the treatment plant.

- When using water-based paint, wash paintbrushes and tins in an inside sink or over grass or your garden. When using oil-based paint, wash brushes in a container with thinners, then filter the thinners and re-use.

- Make sure the stormwater downpipes from your roof are connected to a stormwater drain, not to the sewer system – to avoid overflows in the sewer system.

- Take your household hazardous waste (e.g. paint, thinners and chemicals) to the Hazmobile. Visit www.hazmobile.govt.nz or phone your local council to find out when the Hazmobile is near you.

- Report pollution! If you see any signs of water pollution call the ARC’s Water Pollution Hotline immediately. 09 377 3107, 24 hours.

- Join The Big Clean Up and receive more tips and information from the ARC on caring for our waterways.


ENDS

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