Environment Waikato and Taupo District Council staff are concerned that people in Taupo are using stormwater drains to dispose of contaminants which then flow into Lake Taupo.
Environment Waikato recently received a complaint about a plume of white paint flowing in Acacia Bay, and staff found that someone had tipped acrylic paint into a stormwater drain through a roadside metal grate.
Resource Use Acting Group Manager Junine Reo said unauthorized discharges of paint, detergents, engine oil and silt into the Lake had been reported to Environment Waikato. The Council worked with the community to maintain and improve the Lake environment.
“Unfortunately, when engine oil and soluble pollutants are discharged into the lake they are almost impossible to clean up. The cumulative effects of these contaminants are adding to the deterioration of water quality in the Lake and the bathing beaches on the lakefront.”
She said unwanted items could be disposed of without harming the Lake.
- Paint should be taken to the town’s landfill’s recycling area.
- Detergents could be flushed with plenty of water down a toilet or basin connected to the sewers. Detergents were also accepted at Taupo District Council’s landfill.
- Engine oil in small quantities could be taken to the landfill. If the quantities were large, Environment Waikato should be contacted for the names of companies which recycle oil.
Ms Reo said silt from gardens or earthworks sometimes entered the Lake with stormwater. Soil from gardens and construction sites should be captured onsite by silt control structures.
Environment Waikato and Taupo District Council staff were keen to help people to protect Lake Taupo, she said.
Environment Waikato’s Freephone 0800 800 401 could provide advice on how to dispose of unwanted household chemicals or methods for capturing silt.