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Search on for Long Bay oil dumper

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2012
Long Bay Oil

DIRTY WORK: A pollution response team worker tries to contain an oil spill in Long Bay.

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Oil dumped in a stream next to Long Bay marine reserve is believed to have come from someone tipping it down a stormwater drain on the southern side of Beach Rd.

Auckland Council Pollution Response Team has so far been unsuccessful in tracing those responsible but says someone could be fined or prosecuted over it.

The team has been containing the spill since it was alerted on August 12 when residents noticed a sheen on the water's surface.

Around 60 to 100 litres of waste oil was found, including remnants in the stormwater lines coming from the residential area on the southern side of Beach Rd.

Immediately the team installed absorbent booms and used a vacuum truck to collect the oil from the surface before it entered the marine reserve. The booms will remain in place to capture any residual oil until the team are confident it has stopped leaching into the stream.

Senior pollution response adviser Aaron Graham says any impacts on the environment have been minimised.

"We did manage to contain the majority of the oil, but there was some absorption into the environment like oil sticking to leaves.

"With the size and nature of this spill there shouldn't be any major impacts on the environment."

It is the first reported oil spill in recent years according to Auckland Council.

"They are not very common. We have had paint and sediment discharges in the past year but this we think is most likely automotive oil."

Tracing attempts were hampered due to heavy rainfall over the weekend.

"Oil leaves a sheen on the water and so we look to trace this using maps of the stormwater lines and manholes.

"In this case we weren't able to trace it as the oil had been washed through the drains because of the rain," Mr Graham says.

Stormwater drains are for rainwater only, he says.

Call the Auckland Council Pollution Response Team on 377 3107 if you notice any pollution.

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- North Shore Times

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