1:15 today, I was horrified to discover Omaru creek had gone white. I called the Pollution prevention hotline case #14/1714.
If this is a regular thing (blasters are supposed to divert the downpipes) then I bet 90% + of the zinc contamination in the Tamaki Estuary comes from water blasting roofs, not regular wear from rainfall.
UPDATE: 4:30 PM
Pollution prevention made it out and then went to talk to the TRC (Tamaki Recreation Centre). Apparently they need to make sure their contractors are not cutting corners and doing horrible stuff like this. I believe the TRC is a council
UPDATE: 2 Days later and I can’t see any obvious ecological damage. I imagine it would be more obvious in a less polluted stream. Like a lot of contamination events the effects will be largely long-term.
UPDATE: 30 July. A super nice guy from the TRC got in touch, they were very concerned about the event and have put in place processes to make sure it does not happen again.
Access also gave me a call, they told me this was a one off accident. The council confirmed this and accordingly let them off with a small fine of around $400). I think the maximum fine is only $1,000, if Mr Burns was running one of these companies he would definitely risk it (given the difficulty in detection). Access invited me down to give a 15min talk to the team about the Auckland environment, which I did. They also walked me through some of their process which are designed to keep the contaminants out of the stormwater system. Most interesting to me was listening to the guys talk about their day while I waited for the meeting to start, they are tasked with cleaning up some really toxic stuff. I put hundreds of hours into helping the environment every year, but these guys can probably make a bigger difference in just a few hours by doing the right thing.