WHAT THEY KNEW – DCC KNOWLEDGE OF LEAD IN THE WATER. Ben Vidgen

TURNS OUT THE PB (LEAD) IN DUNEDIN WATER

HAVE BEING KNOWN ABOUT FOR SOME TIME NOW.

Image result for lead water gasoline polllution


I Would love to share this to my own home town Karitane (where I live next to one of the sites lead was found at it its highest leveles and where my own mother recently passed away from bowel cancer) social media page. Sadly I am blocked after demonstrating (by posting information already in the public arena) how government officials masquerading as locals can be found cheer leading the MPI (now their an agency with a reputation you can trust not to put business ahead of public safety -yeah right) testing of lead on the same page – their message clear don’t worry you can trust us were on the job. An example of this is the investigation of the possible pollutant source by flying a helicopter upstream but not investigating down stream. Even though the Antarctic current carrys waste and sediment north and the higher readings southwards (in Karitane) would indicate this would be the logical course of action. That is unless you don’t want an investigation and only want to give the appearance of having had one.

Their is a lot to write about not excluding the DCC’s repeatedly covered up investigation of lead from the old gas works (will come back to that another day as it is issue which keeps emerging the more I dig).

Today will just cover two other cases – which show their has being long term knowledge of the lead in the water making their slow response simply unacceptable.

Information existed which at the very less should have seen greater promotion of this fact (that our water as at risk) for local residents. In addition to having measures in place to better test and better inform the public of a risk than obviously currently exist and has done so with council knowledge for over three decades.

Evidence given by Wayne Christopher Hickey (“NIWA”) based in Hamilton. “I am a Principal Scientist with NIWA and Director of NIWA USA (Inc)…. I hold the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in biochemistry/microbiology from the University of Waikato. I have worked for 30 years in environmental research and consulting in the area of contaminant impacts in fresh and marine waters. My specialist areas are in water quality guidelines and environmental toxicology…I have complied with in the preparation of this evidence… In this matter, I have been engaged by Port Otago Limited (POL) to prepare evidence on chemical contaminants and the potential for toxicity-related adverse effects in relation to their proposed dredging and disposal of material from the Lower Otago Harbour for their “Project Next Generation”… I am familiar with Otago Harbour from my involvement with Ravensdown Ltd’s Ravensbourne Works re-consenting (in 2004) and various harbour effects assessments relating to potential water column and sediment-associated effects from that site. I have been involved with the design and implementation of both harbour monitoring and effects assessment programmes, and with on-site implementation of an integrated storm water management and treatment programme…. The City of Dunedin has a number of storm water discharges to the Upper Harbour. These will discharge sediments, “heavy metals”(normally expected to include copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn);however a more comprehensive assessment includes: cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni) and the metalloid, arsenic (As)), petroleum hydrocarbons (determined by measuring total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and specific components such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)), and possibly polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs, historically used in electrical transformers)”.

In addition “Concerns are raised regarding ‘toxins’, ‘lead usage’, and DDT in farm drainage, assorted anti-fouling compounds to mention a few”

53. A. Hall, Aramoana (Submission 185) “Concerns are raised regarding “toxins”, “lead usage, and DDT in farm drainage, assorted anti-fouling compounds”. (Source: Reid, M. R.: (1990), ‘The Marine Geochemistry of Lead in an Urban Catchment’, PhD Thesis (unpublished). Dunedin, New Zealand: Chemistry Department, University of Otago.

The second example is ‘Literature review of the risks and adverse
effects from discharges of stormwater, wastewater, industrial and trade waste, and
other hazardous substances in Otago’ It is dated 2016 (five years before the current fiasco) and was prepared for the Otago Regional Council on February 2017.

The high lights include:

Contaminants in storm water and their effects on receiving environments have been extensively studied internationally, and much of this chapter focusses on advances in that arena and the implications of these findings to Otago. Not surprisingly, most of the work on contaminants in Otago storm water and the effect on receiving environments is centred on Dunedin. There appear to be no reports on storm water quality in Otago outside the Dunedin metropolitan area”

Most of this monitoring effort has focussed on the upper Otago Harbour, which receives storm water from multiple outlets draining the Dunedin CBD and inner suburbs. These reports are reviewed in Appendix C. In summary, the consent monitoring reports conclude that:

  1. Concentrations of stormwater contaminants were generally within the range found for other NZ
    urban centres;
  2. An exception was polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) loadings in the Portobello road catchment, which were at the high end of ranges reported in NZ and internationally (due to legacy effects from an old gas works);
  3. Isolated storm water related ‘hotspots’ were adjacent to storm water outlets outside the upper
    Harbour (e.g. Carey’s Bay), however the contaminants associated with these hotspots were readily traceable to specific activities (e.g. high copper with boat building/repairs);
  4. Tracing studies for the presence of sewage in storm water have been ambiguous…We do note, however, that storm water monitoring in Dunedin is still reporting lead levels in excess of guideline values (Appendix C).

The contaminants most frequently cited as causing adverse effects from urban stormwater in receiving environments are: metals, PAH and total petroleum hydrocarbons, pathogens, and, as more is known about their effects, EOCs. With the possible exception of pathogens and some EOCs (e.g. some pharmaceuticals andpesticides), these contaminant groups are important because they adsorb to sediments and settle in lentic (still-water) environments (such as lakes or estuaries). Litter, sediments, and nutrients are still important, but usually only result in significant effects from storm water in more extreme cases.

Image result for ocean currents karitane
Modern and Relict Sedimentation
on the South Otago Continental Shelf,
New Zealand by
R.M. CARTER, L. CARTER, J.J. WILLIAMS and C.A. LANDIS New Zealand Oceanographic Institute Memoir 93 1985 detailing how the Antarctic current carries sediment from the Otago Portobello Harbour northwards to harbours such as Karitane and Waikouti

PAHs were first reported in Dunedin storm water in the PhD studies of Brown (2002a). Brown’s studies, and later monitoring studies (see Appendix C) which found high concentrations of PAHs associated with the Portobellon Road catchment, and was thought to be mainly a legacy contaminant associated with a disused gas works.

So this is not a new problem which only popped up in August but rather is a long term issue with plenty of material warning this was an issue which would need to be addressed by the council. One which should have required far more stringent testing/tracing protocols than currently exist in addition to an absence of quick response measures to ensure when lead is found with excess reading it does not just sit on some one desk while they away on holiday.

Which simply once more underscores the DCC failure not to have to immediately informed the public the moment excess lead was found in the water.

One comment

  1. I think you hit the nail on he head when you wrote that they might simply want to put on the appearance of doing an investigation.

    Like

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