Plimmerton stream a health hazard?
Plimmerton’s sparkly new domain has a black spot – a stinky stream that is making dogs sick.
Like many in the seaside suburb, David Verrinder is a dog owner.
He takes his 2-year-old golden retriever, Rafa, for walks most days. He used to let him have a dip in Taupo Stream, which runs through the suburb to the beach, but Rafa would get sick every time.
‘‘ It’s awful. Each time I’ve allowed him to get near the stream it happens,’’ Verrinder said.
‘‘I’ve found over the last two years it’s been stinky. It’s just got grime and filth. We have a black and toxic stream.
‘‘I wouldn’t even put my toes in it and I’ve said to people not to do it.’’
The Plimmerton Residents Association committee member said he took up the issue with Porirua City Council a year and a half ago, to no avail.
‘‘I heard nothing so I followed through and still nothing. I think they’re hoping if I’m ignored I will go away.’’
Verrinder said he and the association wanted to help fix the issue, but needed to know what testing was done and what the results were.
‘‘What we want to do is communicate and solve the problem.
‘‘We have a huge number of visitors. There are no signs to say not to go near the water.
‘‘We want to know what’s going on and be helpful in preventing people from getting sick.’’
Jim Sutton, Porirua City Council’s manager of environmental standards, said he was not aware of Verrinder’s requests.
However, he said the water at the southern beach, where Taupo Stream runs into the sea, was being tested by the council and Wellington Water Limited every week from November until March.
‘‘What we have found from time to time is elevated bacteria levels,’’ he said.
He said though there were oneoffs, like two weeks ago when the beach was closed because of a broken sewage pipe on a private property, most of the time contamination was caused by birds from Taupo Swamp.
‘‘We are aware of Taupo Stream and it has a history of fairly variable quality of water.
‘‘What we basically say is for people to be aware.’’
With Taupo Swamp, which drains into the stream, being a natural vegetation and bird sanctuary, Sutton said there was no way to fully clean up the stream.
Verrinder said he didn’t believe birds could be causing the whole problem and he wanted more investigation done.
‘‘We want them to investigate and figure out what it is. We have been asking for a year and a half,’’ he said.
‘‘ We work really hard to improve the amenities for the community. This, we really feel, is letting us down.’’
Bad smell: David Verrinder’s dog, Rafa, had black paws after running through Taupo Stream in Plimmerton.