Up to 100 litres of oil has been dumped in a stream next to Long Bay marine reserve and authorities are struggling to trace the source. Auckland Council’s pollution response team was alerted on Sunday when residents noticed a sheen on the water’s surface. Around 60 to 100 litres of waste oil was found, including some in the stormwater lines coming from the residential area on the southern side of Beach Rd. Absorbent booms and a vacuum truck were used to collect the oil from the surface before it entered the marine reserve. The booms will remain in place until the team is confident oil has stopped leaching into the stream. Senior pollution response advisor Aaron Graham said any impact on the environment had been minimised. “We have had paint and sediment discharges in the past year but this we think is most likely automotive oil,” he said. “We did manage to maintain the majority of the oil, but there was some absorption into the environment like oil sticking to leaves and that sort of thing. “With the size and nature of this spill there shouldn’t be any major impacts on the environment.”
Attempts to trace the oil through the stormwater system have been unsuccessful. “Oil leaves a sheen on the water and so we look to trace this using maps of the stormwater lines and manholes,” Graham said. “In this case we weren’t able to trace it as the oil had been washed through the drains because of the rain.” Whoever is responsible could be fined and face prosecution. Auckland Council warned that stormwater drains were for rain water only, not a dumping ground for other substances.
MARYKE PENMAN, Oil dumped near marine reserve, Auckland Now, Aug. 15, 2012