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Published: 2012-09-05 00:00:00

Hamilton City Council’s city delivery team is being praised for its swift response to a fire at a tyre retail outlet in the inner city this morning.

HCC’s actions helped avoid a discharge of fire water and oil to the Waikato River through the stormwater system, said Waikato Regional Council compliance and education manager Rob Dragten.

The fire was at A H Franks in Angelsea St. When tyres burn they can release large amounts of oil, while water used to fight fires can be contaminated by toxic fire residues.

“Our concern was that oil and fire residues might get into the stormwater system and then to the river. However, HCC’s prompt response dealt with this risk very effectively,” said Mr Dragten.

He said HCC’s team responding to the potential environmental threat got the relevant section of the stormwater system sealed off, and brought in a sucker truck to empty it out.

“This has helped avoid oil and other contaminants getting into the Waikato River,” said Mr Dragten.

Hamilton City Council holds a resource consent from Waikato Regional Council to discharge urban stormwater to the river. The conditions of that resource consent require Hamilton City to respond to contaminant discharges into its stormwater network.

“Regional council staff making visual checks saw no signs of contamination in the river after the fire.

“It’s great to see action being taken that prevents contaminants from getting to the river, rather than having to try and clean up afterwards. HCC deserves real credit for its swift response.”