An Auckland Council investigation has concluded its contractor's dumping of waste water in a Pukekohe stream last month was legal but a new trade waste disposal site was needed in the town.
The investigation followed public outrage when the contractor was photographed dumping the waste water in the Rowles Rd, Pukekohe stream by members of the Pukekohe Citizens and Ratepayers Association.
Member Ganges Singh told Franklin County News it happened on at least three occasions in July.
''It was black stinking stuff [being dumped],'' he said.
But Craig McIlroy, Auckland Council manager stormwater, said the dumping was legal and only involved decant water with 0.1 per cent contamination.
He said council had granted a variation to the contractor to dump at the site to help improve their ability to efficiently deal with the water from sediment removal activities, particularly in the winter months.
''While the actual contaminant level was very low, and far less than the contaminant run-off from the adjacent market gardening activities, we accept that the public perception was of an illegal dumping of waste, which in fact was not the case,'' he said.
Auckland Council's stormwater unit took over the southern catch-pit cleaning two years ago and since then, the average volume of contaminated sediment removed in the Pukekohe area has increased from 50 tonnes a year, to 165 tonnes - a 330 per cent increase.
''This area clearly needs a trade waste disposal site,'' McIlroy said.
Council is working with Watercare to confirm a new approved disposal site in Pukekohe.
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