QLDC: it could take weeks to identify green pollutant
"Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) is receiving a lot of questions and enquiries about the substance that turned part of Horne Creek (between the Queenstown Library and Queenstown Bay) bright green yesterday.
There is a lot of speculation as to what the substance is. Comprehensive testing is underway and it could take a matter of weeks to have a conclusive result. The substance does have similar characteristics to water tracing dye which is used for mapping waste and stormwater flows. This is not a toxic substance but is certainly an unnecessary addition to an environment we work so hard to protect.
It’s important to note this was not associated with any Council operations.
CCTV evidence shows the substance entering Horne Creek near the library at approximately 2.28pm on Sunday. Council was notified by numerous people at this stage and took immediate action to dispatch a crew of contractors to the site. The water was clear in this location approximately ten minutes later as it moved down the creek and towards the lake.
We are reviewing further CCTV footage and following up on all possibilities regarding where the substance originated from. We don’t have any further information on that aspect, or what further action will be taken at this stage. We are taking the matter very seriously and would welcome any information which would allow us to identify the source of pollution.
Every single one of us has a part to play in protecting our environment and QLDC certainly shares the community’s concerns when incidents like this occur. We have recently adopted an Integrated Three Waters Bylaw which will see a more holistic approach to providing safe drinking water, keeping our lakes, rivers and environment clean, and protecting our infrastructure from misuse. Education forms a big part of that and we will be ramping this up in the very near future. The bylaw can be read here:https://www.orc.govt.nz/managing-our-environment/waste-and-hazardous-substances/pollution/only-drain-rain
If people want more information about stormwater there’s some great information available on the Otago Regional Council website: https://www.orc.govt.nz/managing-our-environment/waste-and-hazardous-substances/pollution/only-drain-rain
We will provide a further update when more information is available."