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Residents concerned about polluted creek

MARYKE PENMAN
Last updated 05:00 04/03/2014
Creek
Maryke Penman

STINKY SLUDGE: The stream leading down to the sea at Mairangi Bay is not only a health hazard, but a blight on the otherwise pristine environment, residents says.

John Watson
Maryke Penman
CREEK REEKS: John Watson says pollutants in the Mairangi Bay stream have the potential to cause harm to people and their pets.

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A stagnant, stinking beachside waterway has residents concerned for their young children and pets.

Albany ward councillor John Watson says the stream leading into Mairangi Bay beach looks so polluted it could pose a serious health risk.

Sea water is tested on a weekly basis at Mairangi Bay throughout summer.

But neither the stream nor sediment is monitored by the Auckland Council.

It's like having a beautiful home, but "shoving all your rubbish in the back garden", Mr Watson says.

A response from the council, on behalf of its land and water management team, says streams draining urban areas can be polluted by a range of sources.

"It is not advisable to use the water for contact recreational purposes.

"We recommend that people avoid swimming for 48 hours after rain and avoid playing or swimming in the areas most likely to be polluted on a beach, such as stream mouths like this one."

A longtime Mairangi Bay resident, who does not want to be named, says the stream, which runs adjacent to Sidmouth Rd down to the beach, is as bad as he has ever seen it.

His dog required more than $400 of vet treatments around 18 months ago when it became sick after playing in the creek. The resident says it took up to 10 washes to clean the thick black sludge from the animal's fur.

He says council staff conducted a water quality test after he complained but the results were not deemed unsafe.

The council says there is consent to dig a channel through the sand bar at the stream mouth to increase the "exchange" between seawater and freshwater, although it has never dredged any natural streams on the North Shore.

The resident says the water itself may be relatively clear, but it is the sediment sitting on the bottom that is polluted.

"Clean green New Zealand?

"You have got to be kidding me," he says.

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