If you notice any pollution, please contact the Pollution Hotline 24/7 on (03) 366 4663 in Christchurch or 0800 76 55 88 outside of Christchurch.
Sewage from many communities is collected via a network of pipes and pumped to a central facility, where it is treated before being discharged to the environment. Sewage consists mostly of water, but also contains organic material and micro-organisms including pathogens. There are a number of factors that can cause sewage to get into the water before it is fully treated. The main ones include:
There are also other sources of sewage:
Rainwater collected from roofs, driveways, roads, car parks and other sealed surfaces is often piped directly to rivers, lakes and the sea without treatment. During its travels the water (stormwater) collects a number of contaminants along the way. This includes waste from domestic animals, which collects on footpaths, gutters and lawns.
Farm run-off, can add significantly to the contamination of waterways. Apart from farm oxidation ponds that have been shown to contain high levels of pathogens, a large amount of animal waste ends up on the paddock. Depending on a number of factors – including distance to the nearest stream, rainfall intensity and stock numbers - faecal material ends up in waterways. Where stock has access to streams and rivers for drinking water, excrement may be deposited directly into the water.
In some water bodies, birds can accumulate in very large numbers because of food supply and breeding needs. Bird faeces can sometimes contain pathogens that can be harmful to humans.
(03) 353 9007
0800 324 636 (EC INFO)
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