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Contractors urged to keep mud on site

20 May 2004

Contractors urged to keep mud on site

Auckland City is getting tough with an instant fine of $300 for building contractors who do not keep mud off roads this winter.

This has come after reports that higher levels of silt and sediment are entering our harbours and affecting water quality and marine life.

Warren Adler, Auckland City incident management, says with building activity at unprecedented levels, all contractors must be mindful of where the mud actually ends up.

“The issue is not just mud on roads. The issue is that when it rains, the water flows overland to the roads, drains and watercourses and picks up dirt from exposed ground on the way. This eventually empties into the sea.

“Stormwater has been shown to be a leading cause of water pollution,” Mr Adler says.

Auckland is built on slopes, which means that run-off is faster and there is less time for soakage. Construction is increasing on small sites or on sites with greater building coverage and there is less space for soakage and sediment control measures.

“Contractors need to remember that if the development has resource consent, the consent may require sediment control. Generally, it is a breach of the District Plan to allow any silt or sediment to get into the stormwater drains from earthworks or bare land, and a wheel-wash is required on all sites where sediment may be transferred from tyres on to the roads,” he says.

“The golden rule is very simple – keep sediment within the site.”

Mr Adler says that if over-spills are likely, it is best to install and maintain filters in council catch-pits. If mud does get on to the roads, vacuum sweeper trucks should be hired to remove it as soon as possible.

“We will get tough on this over the winter. We will issue instant fines of $300 if mud or sediment gets onto the roads or into the stormwater drains.”

If contractors need any further information they should contact the planning helpdesk at Auckland City Environments on (09) 379 2021, or check out the website at www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/council/services/building

ENDS

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