North Shore Times : January 27th 2011
www.northshoretimes.co.nz Thursday, January 27, 2011 Sediment run-off again Sort it out: Ben Becker is among angry residents asking questions about clay washing into Long Bay. Photo: BEN WATSON LATEST CLAY PROBLEMS AT LONG BAY CAME DURING HEAVY RAINFALL ON SUNDAY Causing concern: Muddy water washes into Long Bay on Sunday. By LIZ WILLIS LARGE amounts of clay have washed into Long Bay from a major development for a second time in just a few weeks, raising fears about the impact on the beautiful coast- line. Sediment run-off was a major concern for environmental watchdogs who challenged the developers in the Environment Court. It looks like our worst fears were realised,'' Robert White from the Okura Environmental Group says. It looks very serious to us. I would say something needs to hap- pen quickly.'' Sediment can't be seen in the water after a while but it can con- tinue to harm the marine environ- ment, particularly small life forms, Mr White says. Long Bay became a marine res- erve in 1995 because it was con- sidered in the national interest to protect it for scientific study. The latest clay run-off came dur- ing heavy rainfall on Sunday and angered many residents. It follows a December 19 incident when large volumes of clay washed into the sea after diversion bunds failed during a heavy downpour. The bunds were supposed to stop run-off , and developers Todd Prop- erty described the incident as a one- off.Problems on Sunday were of a dif- ferent nature, spokesman Sifa Taumoepeau says. This time a pond that is supposed to discharge had discoloured water for a short period and caused con- cern, Mr Taumoepeau says. The company is investigating whether it can make improvements but it hasn't breached any stringent development conditions, he says. Diversion bunds that previously failed coped with Sunday's even heavier rainfall following remedial work, Mr Taumoepeau says. The earthworks are creating a stormwater wetland that will improve water quality in Awaruku Stream, which discharges into Long Bay, he says. Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chairwoman Julia Parfitt says the issue is of huge concern to residents because it has been such a contro- versial development. The council and the developers are investigating the cause, includ- ing whether other development con- tributed to the problem, she says. The developer is required to pro- vide an expert ecological report on the impact on marine life because the rainfall was so intense on Sunday, she says. Todd Property, unlike some developers, responded quickly and is keeping the council updated, Mrs Parfitt says. Torbay resident Ben Becker, who contacted the North Shore Times about the December problem, says the run-off was even worse on Sunday. What I can't understand is how the council and powers that be are down-playing it. If that was oil, there would be a hell of an out- cry, but because it's mud they hope it washes away and no one sees it.''
January 25th 2011
January 28th 2011