Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Man-made lake poses 'potential risk' to aquifers

Man-made lake poses 'potential risk' to aquifers

Anusha Bradley, Hawke's Bay Reporter

Questions are being asked about why it has taken more than a year for Hastings District Council to get advice on a lake identified as a "potential risk" to an aquifer that supplies thousands of households with water.

view from above of
a lake surrounded by plants in the between industrial and
farm land

Lowes Pit, Hastings. Photo: Google Satellite

Lowes Pit, which is a small man-made lake in an industrial part of Hastings, tested positive for high levels of E coli in recent months, with levels in April peaking at 11,000 cfu per 100mls.

It was identified in June 2018 by the council's Works and Services Committee as "a potential risk to the Heretaunga Plains Aquifer" and consultants Tonkin and Taylor were commissioned to look at options to improve the quality of the water being discharged into it.

But more than a year on, the work was still incomplete.

"There seems to be a real lack of urgency around trying to get to the bottom of it, when they said there was a possible risk of contamination back in June 2018," Councillor and Mayoral candidate Damon Harvey said.

"Water is apparently our number one priority and here we have an example of where perhaps we haven't been protecting a source as well as we should."

Sandra Hazlehurst Photo: Hastings District Council

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said: "I'd like to see the pit drained actually and the stormwater redirected, and that is one of the considerations being explored."

The council was working with Hawke's Bay Regional Council to look at how how this could be done and options could be put before councillors before the election, she said.

The Tonkin and Taylor report was "part of a suite of investigations" underway to fix the issue and there was "no risk" to drinking water, Mayor Hazlehurst said.

"There's no risk to the Frimely bore. It's very carefully monitored and tested. There is absolutely no risk in the meantime," she said.

Hastings District Council chief executive Nigel Bickle was meeting with Tonkin and Taylor to discuss the report this week.

Lowes Pit is owned by the council but is surrounded by industrial or commercial properties. The council had a consent to allow stormwater from the surrounding sites to be discharged into the lake.

The lake feeds into the Heretaunga aquifer and within the Frimley Bore source protection zone. It was also near 13 other bores used for food processing and drinking water supplies.

Latest test results showed the water from the lake complied with New Zealand Drinking Water Standards, except for E coli.

Massey University freshwater ecologist Russell Death said it would "almost impossible" to know how much E coli ended up in the acquifer without a specific study into how that water entered it.

"It depends on what kind of gravels it filters through and what path is takes. But 11,000 is very high. If I was taking drinking water from that source I would have some serious concerns. But the water would also be tested before it was supplied to households," he said.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Boris Johnson At Sea: Coronavirus Confusion In The UK

The tide has been turning against UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Oafishly, he has managed to convert that tide into a deluge of dissatisfaction assisted by the gravitational pull of singular incompetence. Much of this is due to such errors of ... More>>

Reese Erlich: Foreign Correspondent: Rightwing Populism Will Make You Sick—Really

The four countries with the most confirmed COVID-19 infections in the world are all led by rightwing populists: the US, India, Brazil, and Russia. Throw in the United Kingdom, which has the largest infection rate in Europe, and you have a common pattern. ... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Early Voting Is OK, If You Know Who To Vote For

Early voting is now open which is great for the 80% or so of the population whose vote does not change from one election to the next. They can go out and vote at their convenience without having to wait for election day. But for those who are yet even ... More>>

The Conversation: Biodiversity: Where The World Is Making Progress – And Where It’s Not

The future of biodiversity hangs in the balance. World leaders are gathering to review international targets and make new pledges for action to stem wildlife declines. Depending on whether you are a glass half-full or half-empty person, you’re likely ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Current Chances Of Re-Election

By now it seems clear that National have no fresh ideas to offer for how New Zealand could avoid the Covid-19 economic crisis. As in the past, National has set an arbitrary 30% ratio of government debt to GDP that it aims to achieve “in a decade or so,” ... More>>

The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • PublicAddress
  • Pundit
  • Kiwiblog