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Published: 2001-11-27 00:00:00

Environment Waikato and Fonterra managed to stop thousands of litres of milk pouring into the Waihou River following a milk tanker crash near Paeroa early this morning.

The tanker, carrying 20,000 litres of milk, turned over on Awaiti Rd near a canal on the Hauraki Plains a short distance from the Waihou River. The driver was unhurt, although his tanker was badly damaged.

Police immediately called Environment Waikato for help to deal with the major milk spill and the nearby drain was blocked off to prevent milk flowing down to the water. Eight thousand litres of milk was sucked from the tanker and taken to a neighbouring farm’s oxidation pond.

Sand was spread on the road to mop up the spill of about 10,000 litres, and the sand will be cleaned up later this morning and disposed of at a landfill. If today’s rain caused any problems the spill would be sucked up again, Environment Waikato resource officer Jim May said.

He said there was no damage to the environment from what could have been a disastrous spill.