Is Auckland water safe?

An interesting Environment Court case starts today in Auckland. Joel Cayford has blogged a background to it here and further updates are on his blog.

He has written to Len Brown saying:

I am writing to you because I have recently become aware of a major issue for Auckland. I am at a loss to understand how Three Kings Quarry owner, Winstone Aggregates, was granted consent by the Auckland Regional Council a year and a half ago to fill the Mt Eden Road quarry, unlined and without a leachate collection system, with waste material that is permitted to contain elevated levels of contaminants including arsenic, copper, zinc, DDT and hydrocarbons.

This and other related resource consent decisions have been appealed to the Environment Court. I understand this appeal is set down for a two week hearing beginning Monday 7th March.

Have you considered Auckland Council’s position in regard to this matter?

The Mt Eden Road quarry – also known as Three Kings Quarry – is above, and drains into, a large fresh water aquifer from which water is already drawn by some (including Auckland Zoo), and which is a back-up drinking water source for Auckland in the event of a natural disaster, such as the one we have just seen in Christchurch.

Now I’m not personally across the science enough to assess what sort of risk is involved. And this is exactly why we have an Environment Court. But it does seem this is potentially a rather major issue, and one worth of scrutiny.

Comments (13)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment