Archive | Pollution

Council issues instant-fine warning for spreading mud from building sites

Published 25 June 2006

Auckland City Council has warned building contractors they face a $300 instant fine if they don’t keep mud off city roads this winter.

Council service requests manager Jackie Wilkinson said building contractors had to be more mindful of where mud & debris end up: “Heavy rainfall washes silt & sediment from roads into the stormwater system. This is then flushed into the sea, affecting water quality and harming marine life. Building contractors must ensure that the necessary steps are taken to prevent clay & soil leaving the construction site.”

The council issued a reminder on Friday that:

if a development has resource consent, the consent may require sediment control
it’s a breach of the district plan to allow silt or sediment from earthworks to enter the stormwater system
a wheel wash may be required on some sites where sediment may be transferred from tyres on to the road, and
if mud does get on the road, brooms should be used or vacuum sweeper trucks hired to remove it immediately.

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Attribution: Council release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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Clean up your act – carefully – ARC tells construction industry

Published 21 November 2005

It’s time contractors & developers realised their actions have an impact on the environment and improved their work practices, Auckland Regional Council pollution response team leader Rowan Carter said today.

25% of the 2000 complaints the council’s water pollution hotline received over the past 18 months were about the construction industry, Mr Carter said.

He issued a challenge to the industry to clean up more carefully as it enters the peak summer construction season: “There is often a degree of ignorance involved – many don’t actually understand that washing their concrete, sediment, paint, etc to a stormwater drain results in that pollutant entering the nearest stream or beach.

“But unfortunately there is also a level of arrogance out there. Some people don’t care where the waste from their site goes.

“The 3 problem pollutants from construction activities are cement, sediment and paint & plaster. Concrete is by far the most toxic.

“Washing out concreting equipment can result in environmental damage, it can take a stream 5-10 years to fully recover. 30% of all the fish kills reported in Auckland streams are due to cement & concrete wastewater.

“In the Auckland region, it is estimated that more than 60,000 tonnes of sediment also enters our streams, lakes, estuaries & harbours every year. This has a huge impact on our freshwater & coastal marine ecosystems.”

Mr Carter says workers needed to keep their waste on their site: “They should implement silt control and designate an area on their site, away from the stormwater system, where they can wash their equipment. They also need to contain their rubbish within bins so it doesn’t blow away.”

Mr Carter said the council can issue environmental infringement notices, which carry fines up to $1000, to a company or person failing to manage their waste. People who see water pollution can phone the hotline on (09) 377 3107.

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