Wellington stream brown, swollen and frothy

TOM HUNT/STUFF.CO.NZ

The Owhiro Stream has turned brown and foamy.

The water babbling down to Owhiro Bay in Wellington should be clear, but it is anything but.

Instead, the Owhiro Stream is brown, foamy and at least twice the height it should be.

Residents of the south coast suburb are used to seeing the small stream rise and turn brown during big rain but now – two weeks after the Wellington floods – they say the stream should long since have returned to normal.

Robert Te Whare from Owhiro Community Gardens beside the brown and swollen Owhiro Stream in Wellington.
FAIRFAX NZ

Robert Te Whare from Owhiro Community Gardens beside the brown and swollen Owhiro Stream in Wellington.

A Greater Wellington Regional Council spokeswoman said two calls had been received about the stream in the past 10 days.

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Officers had found the source of the contamination, but she could not say what it was while an investigation was ongoing.

Mark Forsyth, from the Owhiro Community Gardens said that, after the floods, the stream dropped from flood conditions but had not dropped significantly since.

But just where the extra water was coming from remained a mystery.

While a slip could explain the brown water, he could not explain the foam that has run continuously down, eventually ending up in Cook Strait at Owhiro Bay.

"Somewhere between here, there's a leak or something, or a burst pipe."

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The one solace was that the lack of smell suggested it was not down to a burst sewerage pipe.

Resident Jade Lorier​ said she had not before seen floods like this month's in the valley in the 15-16 years she had lived there.

She had notified Wellington City Council, which she was told would notify the regional council, about the "brown, greyish" water.

"Usually it runs clear. I would say it has got a foam-like substance on top of the water."

 - Stuff

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