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Beach and stream water quality a major priority

Beach and stream water quality a major priority
March 29, 2006

Improving beach and stream water quality will continue to be a major focus for North Shore City Council under its Draft City Plan 2006-2016.

An investment of $140 million is budgeted over the next decade to improve stormwater systems and reduce the threat of flooding and water pollution in the city.

Chairman of the council’s infrastructure and environment committee, Tony Barker, says the 10-year plan identifies more sustainable and long-term solutions for managing stormwater.

“As our city grows and becomes more built up, there is an increase in impermeable surfaces, such as driveways and roofs, which greatly increases stormwater runoff after heavy rain.

“Stormwater can damage the environment, carrying pollution into streams and onto beaches, and causing erosion and downstream flooding,” Councillor Barker says.

Major projects being planned over the next 10 years include:
- Water quality improvements, $18m:
- Stream restoration and protection, $34m;
- Maintenance, operation and renewal of the existing stormwater system, $40m;
- Upgrading the stormwater system and reducing flooding, $48m.

Tony Barker says the key is to look at methods of prevention and treatment at the source, rather than dealing with the flow on effects.

“We’ll carry out extensive investigative and planning work to develop management plans for each of our many stream catchments.

“These catchment plans will help us identify what’s wrong so we can improve and extend our stormwater systems, and cater for growth,” he says.

The council has invested significant amounts in environmental protection, including ongoing work with Project CARE, North Shore City’s 20-year-programme to improve beach water quality by reducing wet weather wastewater (sewage) overflows and improving stormwater quality.

ENDS

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