Onepoto Domain pond remains toxic

SICKLY: The sight and stench of the pond is hard to avoid, say neighbouring residents.
Rachael Clarke

SICKLY: The sight and stench of the pond is hard to avoid, say neighbouring residents.

The pond in Onepoto Domain remains toxic despite Auckland Council's plan to control the issue last winter.

Residents and boating enthusiasts who use it regularly spent eight years asking for work to be done to improve the water quality - and they are still waiting.

Located on the western side of Onepoto Domain on Auckland's North Shore, the pond is at its worst during summer when the stench becomes stronger as the water and sludge heats up.

Carol Bergquist from the Onepoto Lagoon Committee, who said the pond is in a "terrible state", blames the delay on a design taste dispute.

"There were some design issues - they need to meet sailing demands and water treatment's demands. It's still going to go ahead this winter."

Two weeks ago she took a dying gull to Bird Rescue and she isn't alone in taking the welfare of Onepoto's birds and wildlife into her hands.

Concerned resident Laurain Magennis counted nine dead ducks two weeks ago while taking her daughter and two grandsons for a evening walk.

"We noticed the terrible smell and the amount of debris and plastic in the lake. On closer inspection we discovered sick and dying ducks. We rescued two which were stuck in the mud.

"Unfortunately one died over night and the second one will be receiving treatment from Bird Rescue."

She said it's clear no one from council has been out to the lake for sometime.

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Bird Rescue's Sylvia Durrant said the council needs to take action.

'It's very very hot weather. There's no rain, no water and the lake gets botulism.

"The city council come and put barley straw in lakes to keep it clean but they didn't do it there [Onepoto] this time. No birds can breathe. The council has got to do something about it."

Kaipatiki Local Board chairwoman Kay McIntyre said last year that the pond's desilting project was scheduled to start once the board had gone through the required resource consenting process.

She understood then that the project was held up due to budget constraints.

After meeting with the stormwater engineer responsible for the delivery of the project on March 17, McIntyre said work on the pond will now begin in April.

The contract is being let this week and work is expected to start soon, she said.

"The aim is to get the majority of the physical work completed before the end of April."

 - North Shore Times

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