West Coast Water Quality

Pollution worries in the lagoons along our supposedly pure West Coast beaches are at last getting the Council into action.

Some fascinating, and sometimes very concerning data was presented by the Council ‘water’ staff at the Arataki Centre on Saturday, 15 August.

Two years of close monitoring has highlighted the trouble spots, with Bethells and Piha North and South lagoon areas showing consistently high contamination levels.  Sources of the contamination were analysed and came under four headings – humans, birds, livestock and dogs.

Streams leading into the lagoons and ultimately, of course, into the seawater, had varying pollution levels at different times, but none were consistent with our supposed ‘clean green’ image.

The team of ‘water watchers’ from Council, led by Phil Brown, the Council’s Land and Water Advisory Team Manager, were at the meeting at Arataki Centre to share this information and to glean ideas and suggestions from the seminar attendees.  It was heartening to have free and open communication between the Council staff and the community in a friendly and productive way.

Phil Brown has put together the presentation details and the results of the morning’s discussions and circularised them to those attending.  It is clear that Phil is keen to work co-operatively with the community and will subsequently come back for further discussions.  When the next meeting on water is announced, CoastCare encourages Piha people to participate in this important process.

The intention of upgrading water quality is already in hand, with the Waitakere Local Board leading the way by setting aside $50,000 each year for the next few years to cover grants to residents who want to upgrade their water/sewerage systems.  They are also offering loans for this purpose.  More details can be obtained from the Local Board or the Council.

This move by the Council and the Local Board to seek remedies to the environmental problems caused by pollution needs to be supported by the community in order to make our streams and beaches safe and healthy.

You can read the full report here.

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