A bouquet to the Bay

by frog

Hawke’s Bay has come up with a solution to one of the main sources of pollution in the scenic and popular Tukituki River. Two months ago I highlighted some photos of Tukituki algae blooms on the Baybuzz blog, noting that:

The slime is associated with low flows due to over-allocation of the water during summer drought flows, plus too much “nutrient” primarily from agricultural run-off and town sewage.

Last week the local Councils collaborated to come up with a solution whereby town sewage is spread on land to fertilise forest, rather than discharged into the river. Great news – a big bouquet to the Bay!

An $8 million-plus scheme will mean that from 2011 there should be no more effluent flowing into the scenic river from oxidation ponds at Waipukurau and Waipawa in Central Hawke’s Bay. Instead it will be piped to forests to be developed by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Regional council chief executive Andrew Newman said the oxidation ponds caused about half of the phosphorus pollution that was getting into the river, which is popular with fishermen, swimmers and kayakers. “Phosphorus is what causes the algal growth.”

Local environment groups and Maori welcomed it, and the CHB Mayor noted it “would be $2m cheaper than the $8m treatment plant her council had planned.”

Where have I heard ideas that reduce pollution, create a carbon sink, save money and create jobs before? Well the Greens can’t claim to have costed this Green New Deal project, but we’re quite happy to share the GND love.

Next step, some collaborative solutions to the other main challenges in the Tukituki – diffuse agricultural pollution, the over-allocation of water and working out what type and location of water storage is appropriate.

frog says

Published in Environment & Resource Management by frog on Tue, June 16th, 2009   

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