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Published: 2008-10-16 00:00:00

The environmental impacts of an acid spill that occurred in Morrinsville yesterday appear to be minor, Environment Waikato says.

The Fire Service called Environment Waikato emergency response staff to Fonterra’s Morrinsville dairy factory yesterday afternoon, after an estimated 1000 litres of concentrated sulphuric acid was spilt at the site.

Environment Waikato emergency response officer Barry Campbell said most of the acid had been contained.

“Storm water from the site runs into a sump, where an outlet drain automatically closes if a significant pH change is detected,” he said.

“It appears this system has captured most of the acid in the sump.

“However, it wasn’t all contained and some acid entered a storm water drain that flows into the Waitakaruru Stream, which in turn flows into the Piako River.

“It appears the acid had flushed through the Waitakaruru Stream into the Piako River by yesterday evening, and testing of the river indicated the impact appeared to be minor.

“We have not seen any evidence of impacts on aquatic life at this stage.”

Fonterra used dolomite lime to neutralize the acid in the sump and the storm water drain yesterday, so there are no further environmental impacts expected from the spill.