Waikato Regional Council’s emergency response team is expecting there will be no long-lasting environmental effects resulting from this morning’s truck crash into the Waihohonu Stream off State Highway 1 between Waiouru and Turangi.
A team of five council responders from Hamilton and Taupo has been at the crash site from this morning to advise emergency services on the environmental risks posed by the crash.
It’s since been confirmed that there was no radioactive material on board the truck and that it appeared no containers of an insecticide called Ripcord had got into the stream.
While diesel from the truck has got into the water and a drum of pool cleaning acid is missing, neither material is expected to cause a widespread or ongoing problem for aquatic life, stock or people, said emergency response manager Rob Dragten.
“The Waihohonu is a substantial, fast-flowing stream, and the weather in the area has been good, so we’re expecting the diesel to be quickly dispersed in the water or evaporate in the sun.
“Any pool cleaning acid from the missing drum could cause problems if fumes are breathed in or if people come into direct contact with it. However, we also expect any leaked acid to be quickly dispersed and rendered harmless if it spills into the stream. So, while we’re keen to locate the missing drum, we don’t see that it presents a major risk at this stage,” Mr Dragten said.
There may also be some drums of a light oil in the river but there’s been no indication of any oil from the drums getting into the river at this stage. The council hopes the drums will be recovered intact.
The team at the site will continue assessing what further actions are required from the council. It’s likely council staff will have an ongoing role in ensuring an effective clean up at the site over coming days, Mr Dragten said.