PART-TREATED RECONSTITUTED SEWERAGE IN YOUR DRINKING WATER?
The above picture is a real image of untreated sewerage in NZ's Waikato/Hamilton Treatment Plant, as it begins its treatment process --- before being treated and later discharged BACK INTO the Waikato River. This same Waikato River (downstream of Hamilton) is now the source of about 20% (and soon to become 50%)of Auckland Region's processed/treated drinking tap water!!! About 17 other cities and towns and villages also put their treated sewerage back into the Waikato River - most before Hamilton's own drinking water intake.
Watching the videos on this web site presented by Dr Theo Colburn (see HERE) can educate one about dangers inherent in consuming reconstituted sewerage (no matter how compete or sophisticated the treatment plant or process). Some pollutants simply CANNOT be removed --- and these include hormonal substances that can then disrupt our bodies delicate endocrine systems, with some catastrophic consequences.
Another way, in some literature, of more politely describing the above treated and untreated sewerage making up a part of the Waikato River, suggests:
"Slightly-modified human wastes are pumped into the river downriver of several towns. The Pukete 2 project, which started in 2002, will upgrade the Waikato treatment waste water plant in a series of stages costing $24 million."
Another question left unanswered is what is the level of treatment of sewerage for Cambridge City; and for the multitude of smaller towns along the Waikato River and its many tributories, like the Waipa River (which has the towns of Otorohanga, Pirongia and Whatawhata along its river banks)? Later within this page we report concerns Ngati Maniapoto has with the Waipa River; about its health.
The above sewerage picture might help viewers understand, in real terms, what others are trying to process and sterilise and dilute; for reconstitution back into the wider Auckland Region's tap water.
Drinking water coming from a seriously polluted river, forms a part of the present day demands of Auckland consumers. Only when consumers change demands, might the source change.
By example, Aucklanders could demand that all tap water for drinking and water for drink/food input and for human washing, came from the water dams surrounding Auckland city...and that the Waikato River was used only for other purposes. This would require a dual tap system installed in each home - which might be a consumer cost to ensure reconstituted sewerage was not drunk or used in food/drink manufacturing?
Of course, in Hamilton this option might not be possible, due to 100% of Hamilton City's water coming, these days, from the Waikato River.
If Aucklanders and Hamiltonians are each fine about them and their babies and children drinking reconstituted shit, then those in authority and the businesses will by all means feed it to them. Such is the system we have created around us all; in this time of human evolution, with many decisions based on consumerism and commercialism.
Perhaps many in Auckland and Hamiton Cities do NOT realise they may be drinking treated sewerage/shit/urine/hormones/antibiotics/used condoms/legal prescrition drugs and residue of illegal drugs/with perhaps some viruses and protozoa and other toilet wastes of those people living in Hamilton City and Huntly and other cities bordering on the Waikato River. Or are all such unthinkable human excrement by-products satisfactorily or nearly satisfactorily deleted in the waste water processing and sewerage treatment?
One man recently stated to our team at the Celevdon markets, that he was ok with Auckland tap water and he fully knew and understood it included reconstituted sewerage---and he closed by saying to us it fulfilled his daily need for fiber! But one can ask---while one may seek fiber- should it not be natures fresh fiber--and not someone else's used product, being reconstituted fiber (and perhaps many other waste by-products) from another persons pooh and urine?
Is this REALLY what you agree to drink, and provide for your kids and/or growing foetus?
Are drinks or foods made using treated Waikato River water the sort of drink and food you seek to consume?
Why can organic branded products be permitted to use water which is compromised and far from organic?
The NZ Green Party's senior person Russel Norman has recorded his willingness to drink reconstituted sewerage as a part of the NZ Govt propaganda campaign to try to convince all Aucklanders' to drink it - don't be fooled by any politician making such claims - no matter what party he/she pretends to support! You can read Mr Norman's words about the Waikato River (and the human and cow and other animal shit it includes) on his blog here:
WAIKATO RIVER HAS HAD IT'S NATURAL CLEANSING PROCESS STOPPED
Trend data shows, despite recent attempts to upgrade, that these days the quality of the Waikato River water is declining.
In its pre-1930s wilder state, silt and pollutants were flushed from the Waikato River naturally every winter by flood surges. The remnants of these winter flood surges/cleansing, can be seen in the silt channels carved out of what is now St Andrews golf course, adjacent to the river in Hamilton.
The hydro-dams stop this natural river cleansing process.
So how bad is the water at the end of the Waikato river?
This is a photo of the mouth of the Waikato taken RECENTLY from A plane.
Really bad is the answer.
It has masses of sediment, lots of nitrogen and phosphorous that feeds algal blooms and heaps of faeces and everything associated with faeces such as bacteria and viruses. There are also a fair bit of heavy metals, some natural and some added by Contact’s geothermal plant (they are one of the few geothermal plants that doesn’t re-inject) and other industries.
some way upstream of the river mouth, By example near Auckland’s water intake (40 kms upstream), THE LEVEL OF FAECES regularly cause breaches of NZ's swimming water standards. The faeces or residual faeces remains are largely animal or human in origin.
In Hamilton some say “Flush twice, Auckland needs the water”.
And it’s true that Hamilton’s treated sewerage goes into the Waikato. BUt so does the treated or untreated sewerage from many other communities along the waikato and all it's tributaries (like polluted waipa river)
It is widely known that near the Tuakau intake pipes/plant for Auckland's drinking water the Waikato River water quality, based on another criteria of water clarity-turbidity, is BELOW recreational/swimming standards. Refer to this Waikato Regional Council chart outlining this fact:
WAIKATO RIVER: INDEPENDENT SCOPING STUDY
To understand more about the pollution of the Waikato River one should read this 2010 NZ Government commissioned report titled ‘ Waikato River: Independent Scoping Study’, on this web site:
You can read full report HERE
The above report is a MUST READ for anyone interested in the Waikato River, and the use of it for a drinking water source. The report begins with this warning:
"The Waikato River is seriously degraded along much of its length."
In this report it also states:
"In general water quality is poor in the lower Waipa, the lower Waikato and most of the tributaries...Most tributaries and the some parts of the lower Waipa River and lower Waikato River DO NOT MEET BATHING WATER GUIDELINES.
Three groups of contaminants pose the highest risk to the safety of drinking water and kai (food) taken from the river, as well as contact recreation. These are: Geothermal chemicals (mercury and arsenic); cyanotoxins (during some alage blooms) and faecal contaminants.
...there are a number of compounds found in the Waikato River that are potentially toxic, including heavy metals and hydrogen sulphide...; industrial dioxins and resin acid; agricultural chemicals (including pesticides, herbicides and animal drenches) and a new group of chemicals collectively called chemicals of 'potential environmental concern'. In addition there is potential for leachate from landfill sites, toxins released by cyanobacteria, and contaminants from urban run-off.
Chemicals of 'potential environmental concern' include chemicals from cosmetics, cleaning agents, paints, human hormones and modern pesticides."
The report goes on to state that in the Waikato River, near Rangiriri, the level of pollution by too high levels of nitrate, total nitrogen, dissolve phosphorous and total phosphorous was 70, when the grading was 1 for best quality water and 77 for worst quality. Hamilton and Pukekohe are regions with high nitrate levels in groundwater.
Here, by but one example, follows a chart from the above referred to report, showing the progressive nitrogen degradation of the Waikato River as it flows to the Tasman Sea. Another map in the report shows similar degradation as the river moves to the sea by phosphorus.
The intake for the Auckland water supply is at Tuakau, it being shown on this chart. Tokoroa is the nearest city to the Kinleith monoleith. The Horoti landfill (plus there are waste waters to go somewhere from the meat works in Horoti) is close to Hamilton. Huntly is shown, being the locale for the power station.
Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus promote algal growth, and the algae make the water appear green and murky, or "turbid". When water becomes turbid it blocks sunlight from penetrating and can cause bed-dwelling aquatic plants to die. It also makes it difficult for fish and other animals to see their prey and native fish migrating upstream from the ocean will avoid highly turbid waterways.
High nitrate levels are dangerous to animals and some water life. By example, USA studies have shown:
'Early life stages of aquatic animals are more sensitive to nitrate than juvenile and adult animals, and amphibian tadpoles are particularly sensitive. In tadpoles, nitrate exposure can reduce the size and weight they have reached at metamorphosis. This may mean that they are less able to escape from predators, or to find food or mates.
Frogs are actually very sensitive indicators of environmental pollution. Scientists in the US, examined the effects of exposure to pesticides and parasites (they used a trematode worm related to liver flukes). They found that tadpoles infected with trematodes developed extra legs, while tadpoles without parasites were normal. The next step was to expose tadpoles to pesticides (a control group was not exposed) and then take blood samples to look at the effect of pesticides on the tadpoles’ immune system before exposing the same tadpoles to trematodes. What was the result? Tadpoles exposed to pesticides had immune systems that didn’t work as well as normal tadpoles – and they also had a much higher rate of parasite infection.
Other studies have found that direct exposure to agricultural and industrial chemicals can also cause limb deformities in frogs. Frogs are sensitive indicators of pollution because they can easily absorb pollutants through their thin, sensitive skins.'
Here is anther report about Nitrogen in Waikot river and its likely soruce
Here is another different official report about Nitrogen in the Waikato River and its likely differing sources:
Back to the NZ Government report of 2010: It revealed that E-coli pollution was another river and tributary risk...especially the areas furthermost away from Lake Taupo. Many tributaries (65% of test results) running into the lower Waikato did not meet the Regional Council's levels of maximum e-coli for safe swimming.
Somehow the main river flow from about Meremere to Port Waikato has an ‘acceptable’ level of e-coli (being under 126), and the questions left unanswered is what has been ‘added’ into the river just before Meremere to reduce e-coli, when upstream the e-coil level is far too high?
This same report outlines how, at the time it was written, there were 30 DIFFERENT large point source discharges direct into the Waikato River from treated sewerage and/or industrial waste AND 1600 known separate discharges (many quite small-Kinleith being one of largest) into tributaries to the Waikato River. These do not include the polluting agricultural run-offs into the river. The report goes on to state:
" ... there is clear scientific evidence that sediment, nutrients and pathogens in farm run-off degrade water quality in the Waikato River."
The Waikato Regional Council adds the point that cumulative effects have a significant adverse effect.
YOUR CHOICE --- YOUR HEALTH
The question remains:
IT IS FOR YOU TO CHOOSE if you should drink polluted river water, once it has been processed and treated in some manner?
Is the recent new science about the extreme dangers of the endocrine disruptors (e.g. hormones in treated sewerage and cadmium in super phosphate applied to Waikato soils) that scientist Theo Colburn warns of not enough? See her videos HERE.
Even the monitoring body, the Waikato Regional Council('WRC'), note on their web site some of the damaging effects to the Waikato River water. See their web page here:
Here are some of their observations on THEIR above web page - do the WRC get cash payments (along with Tainui) for the sale of Waikato River water to Auckland? !
"Point source discharges are direct discharges from a fixed point. They include wastewater from industries, towns (for example sewage and stormwater) and dairy farms.
There are currently more than 80 point source discharges to the main stem of the Waikato River which have resource consents from Waikato Regional Council. On top of this, there are a further 1,600 discharges to the rivers and streams that drain into the Waikato River.
Of the discharges to the main Waikato River, about 30 are classed as large. These discharges are consented by Waikato Regional Council and include:
- heated water from geothermal and gas/coal-fired power stations
- geothermal waste water from a geothermal power station
- treated sewage waste water from Hamilton city and several smaller settlements
- treated waste water from a major pulp and paper mill, a major dairy factory and a large meat-works."
HOROTIU UNLINED DUMP LEACHES DIELDRIN TO WAIKATO RIVER : & MORE!
There is an unlined waste dump at Horotiu, just down river from Hamilton and located about 50 metres from the Waikato River. Its leachates include persistent organic pollutants such as dieldrin in quantities toxic to freshwater marine life.
Is there also a threat posed by leachates from the rubbish dump used byHamilton City, and other cities which are located next/near to the Waikato River? These were words in one non-specific report about rubbish dumping near this river:
'A further issue is industrial and metropolitan waste from early-established landfills and waste-emitting factories on the banks of the river'.
This web site discuses more about the potential threat to river quality from landfills:
Some words of warning in this report include:
"Contamination of waterways and groundwaters from landfill leachate is a potential threat to the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River. Concerns raised during consultation for this Study ranged from municipal and industrial landfills through to small farm dumps used to dispose of farm animals (NIWA et al., 2009).
The total waste disposed of to landfill and cleanfill from the Waikato region in 2006 was 589,000 tonnes per year, comprising 222,000 tonnes per year to municipal waste and 155,000 tonnes to dedicated industrial landfills (Sinclair Knight Metz Limited 2007).
In the past there have been environmental issues linked to old landfills, controversy around siting new landfills and inappropriate dumping of highly toxic chemicals (such as organochlorine agricultural chemicals) in the Waikato River catchment.
Over 40 other landfill sites that could not meet modern environmental standards have recently closed. The location of the five open, consented, landfills (Hampton Downs, Horotiu, Tokoroa, Te Kuuiti and Taupoo) within the Waikato and Waipa River catchments are shown in Figure 1 as are the closed sites- this Figue 1 map is shown after his paragraph - to show how many landfills are or were located very near to either the Waikato River or it tributaries.
Industrial landfills include: Carter Holt Harvey Kinleith’s disposal sites for pulp and paper processing wastes and wood waste bioler ash; Bleakley Landfill (Taupoo) for wood processing waste; Huntly Power Station ash ponds/disposal; and Rotowaro Mine Coal ash slurry for mine rehabilitation."
One of the reference web sites for above information is this: http://www.ew.govt.nz/Environmental-information/Solid-waste/What-happens-to-ourwaste/Waste-Disposal-Sites/
The above map depicts landfill sites, including some now closed. The above map does not clearly show the Waipa River and how it flows through Otorohanga and all the landfills along that river to the Waikato. Nor does the above map show how Tokoroa leads by streams and river to Waikato. Obviously when a landfill is closed, it still has potential for many years thereafter to leach contaminants to groundwater and/or to nearby rivers and streams.
KINLEITH: ADDED POLLUTANTS TO THE WAIKATO RIVER DRINKING SOURCE
If the above sewerage facts and those matters set out in the Scoping Study and the landfills, each do not put you on enquiry about the residual matters in your glass of city tap water, then consider this fact/statistic and maybe then ask yourself (again) is this the sort of originating water you seek to drink, or have being used in drinks or food you drink or eat and seek to consume?
Kinleith empties polluted industrial waste water into the Kopakorahi Stream near Tokoroa, which flows into Lake Maraetai and thence onto the Waikato River. The owners of Kinleith acknowledge they cannot clean their waste water to a level which means no river pollution!
The mills practice (see this Mill in picture above) meant industrial waste water flowed at the daily rates of about 182,000 cubic metres in 1991 and reduced to about 90,000 cubic metres in 1998.
These daily waste water rates were later reduced to about a 85,000 cubic metres flow. This is equivalent to about 85 MILLION litres of waste water discharged to a tributary of the Waikato River every day. No wonder the Scoping Report referred to above noted ‘resin acids’ as being a serious contaminant to the Waikato River....as such acids come from Kinleith!
The waste water has in it chlorine (including chlorinated phenolics) and phytosterols and resin acid concentrations. The latter includes dehydroabietic acid. Excuse us if we spelt this wrong, as we had not prior heard of it.
On 5 October 2011 there was a large chemical chlorine leak in the Kinleith pulp and paper plant. Firefighters were called and people evacuated. This disaster followed two earlier reported disasters; one when a sludge dam failed in December 2003, and another being a limited release of chlorine/chlorine dioxide gas in June 2004.
Maybe the Waikato water treatment plant in Tuakau eliminates all these nasties which flow from this industry (and others) into the Waikato River - or maybe some residuals are left. Who knows? Who tests? Who cares?
Furthermore, if the physical presence has indeed analytically gone (recall Dr Theo Colburn dire warning that many endocrine disruptors cannot be filtered or processed out) - what is left in the ex-river water/now-drinking water of the polluting energies or memory? How is the structure and/or mauri of the water changed? If homeopathy works, then are drinkers of these waters being unwittingly administered homeopathic drops of these poisons?
DEFORMED FISH AND POLLUTED EELS IN WAIKATO RIVER
Maybe the combined effect of treated sewerage and landfills and the industrial pollutants are responsible for the sometimes deformed fish that these days are some times caught in this Waikato River....or for some eels which on testing can reveal overdosing with heavy metals?
These are pictures of deformed fish. Fish with similar deformities have been caught about 3 km before the Waikato River meets the sea at Port Waikato.
The fisherman who informed us says, at this particular point along the Waikato River bank, about 50% of the fish he has caught here over recent years are deformed. The place of catching the above deformed fish, is only a few kilometers from Tuakau, where the Auckland drinking water intake and treatment plant is located on the banks of the Waikato River.
Here is the Waikato Times 2008 newspaper report from their web site, with comments about the diminishing and sick eel populations; being commentary from a commercial eel farmer who relies on the Waikato River for his livelihood. The full report can be seen on this web site by clicking HERE.
Here are some statements this Eel fisherman Mike Holmes then made to the media:
"Even hardy eels are being affected by the poor water quality in our region's rivers, lakes and streams.....It's hard to explain. "What can it be? It's either a disease type of issue or a chemical issue. It's not koi or catfish, but it's a huge loss and we don't know what's causing it."
Holmes takes his boat downstream, where the change in water quality is obvious.
"From here, down from the Mihi Bridge, this is the beginning of the cancer," says Holmes.
"The Waiotapu Stream is where the first big pile of crap filters in. There's a big difference in the visibility and clarity, and it's fairly typical of most of the rivers now," says Holmes. "They are like this. Dirty. When you are in dairy farm country many of the streams are sickly green with cow shit."
Holmes says it is what you can't see that is more of the problem; the invisible nutrients from farm run-off. He lays 30 to 40 nets a day along the river. At 22 tonnes last year he is the biggest private quota eel fisherman in his area. Much of his catch is sent to a processing factory at Te Kauwhata, then exported to Asia. In the past, the factory could source its eels from within an hour's drive, now they have to get them from all over the North Island.
"Eels can handle a lot, but if the eels are feeling it, it is bad," he says.
It's happening right through the Waikato, and it is worse at lower lakes with no water flowing through, which become collection areas for fertiliser and nutrients; impacting water quality, and ultimately, plants and fish life.
"At Lake Waikere (near Te Kauwhata), it used to be 80-odd tonne (of eel) a year out of the lake, now it is half a dozen (tonne), and the water is dirty and cloudy," says Holmes. "Now that lake doesn't grow weed, it doesn't grow fresh water mussels and the eels there are skinny. It's a basket case situation, it's pretty terrible. (Lake) Ngaroto is another.
When I first started fishing Ngaroto, there was lots of weed and lots of eel and lots of fish. Now the eels are rubbish and the weed is gone."
The Waikato Times report added:
"A report from Environment Waikato, released earlier this month on the condition of rural water and soil in the Waikato region, paints a disturbing picture of water quality across the heartland.
Agricultural activities are causing much of the problem; nitrogen and phosphorous from fertilisers and stock excrement have been running off or seeping through farmland.
There are 4,500 dairy farms in the Waikato region, each leaching 3.6 tonnes of nitrogen on average per year. With fewer marshes and wetlands, which act as natural kidneys filtering out nutrients, they are leaching into ditches, streams, rivers and lakes. Waterways which were once healthy, full of plant and fish life, are now quiet and clogged with blooms of toxic algae, their ominous spread blocking out light and other plant life.
It doesn't affect only the rivers and streams, but nutrients flow all the way to the ocean. Scientific estimates indicate the equivalent of 97 truckloads of urea fertiliser enters the sea at Port Waikato every week; and 32 truckloads to the Firth of Thames. Some oyster and mussel farms around the Coromandel Peninsula can't harvest after more than 10mm of rain due to bacteria from farmland washing into the sea.
It can also make water unsafe to drink; in February 2005, an algal bloom caused the deaths of nine cattle on a Waikato farm, with levels 760 times above animal drinking water standards.
About 70 per cent of waterways are not safe for swimming, especially water downstream of Ngaruawahia and the lower Waipa, due to bacteria from faecal matter in the water."
A separate study in 2002 revealed dead eels were found in a tributary of the Waikato River, after a container of pesticides and other chemicals was apparently illegally dumped. The chemicals were diluted when they entered the much bigger Waikato River, but with residual remains flowing merrily toward the Auckland City water intake from this river.
Are some of the hormones (which Dr Theo Colburn suggests cannot be removed in any treatment process) responsible for some of the above deformities and/or pollutants?
GEOTHERMAL WASTE WATER DOES FLOW INTO WAIKATO RIVER
Geothermally derived Arsenic (As) is a natural input into Lake Taupo and the upper Waikato River; BUT a major concentrated source is the discharge flow back into the Waikato River from the Wairaaki Geothermal power station.
The result is water downstream from Wairaaki has arsenic concentrations which exceed drinking water standards.
The addition of aluminium when treating water is said to remove, via flocculation, most of the arsenic --- at the added risk of polluting the drinker with an overdose of aluminium.
If one agrees with some of Dr Emoto's work (see movie HERE) and/or with the principles of homeopathy (see movie HERE), then there might remain in the water the energy or imprint of arsenic and/or aluminium (and/or anything else the water has been forced by man to carry) prior to drinking it?
Mercury is another hazard and natural input into the upper Waikato River; BUT a major concentrated source is the discharge flow back into the Waikato River from the Wairaaki Geothermal power station.
Mercury is known to have accumulated in river and Lake sediment (esp. Lake Okahurii). It may accumulate in the food chain as methyl mercury. High levels of methyl mercury consumed is said to damage the nervous system with unborn babies being particularly at risk.
Due to mercury levels, one report (Mills 1995) suggested a limit to daily fish intake/meals from some species caught in the Waikoto River or adjoining Lakes. The most telling limit was on long fined Tuna (NZ eels), where the daily limit suggested to be eaten was only 11 grams per day (which compares to a more normal quantity in one standard meal of fish of 150 grams). An overrider suggested a more cautious limit for eating such fish/eels from the Upper Waikato or Lake Okahurii, especially for pregnant women or people of smaller physical size.
Arsenic is a major problem in the Waikato River and the concentration reaches 0.035 grams of arsenic per cubic metre in places, exceeding the WHO provisional guideline of 0.01 grams of arsenic per cubic metre.
The majority of arsenic in the Waikato River probably comes from theWairakei Geothermal Power Station.
The amount of arsenic gradually declines as the river flows northwards and is at its lowest at the Waikato River Heads at Port Waikato.
A 1995 report ( Mills 1995) stated that some fish species below Hamilton, notably mullet and brown trout, had elevated tissue concentration of arsenic - but those researchers were unable to identify the source of this arsenic.
Arsenic rests in the sediment of most lakes linked to Waikato River, and in one the arsenic level is on average EIGHT TIMES (being an average, the peak excess levels must be higher) more that the NZ sediment quality guidelines for ecological protection (ANZECC 2000).
The most toxic form of arsenic were also shown to be elevated. Yes, there can be different forms of near everything...and the man-made derivatives are usually more toxic than those from nature.
The same report referred to the potential for these elevated toxic levels of arsenic to:
- become toxic to fish and some other species (e.g. fresh water crays) living in the lakes and also to bio-accumulate, as one larger specie ate another already toxic smaller specie.
- in certain conditions the toxic arsenic might be mobilised and leave the sediment of the lakes and move into the Waikato River, markedly increasing arsenic contamination further downstream in this river.
- become part of aquatic edible plants, like watercress, as watercress and other plants like it can be hyper-accumulators of water and sediment based arsenic.
STORMWATER IS ALSO ADDED TO WAIKATO RIVER - IS IT PRIOR TREATED?
If treated sewerage and industrial pollutants and the various other contaminants are not enough to influence your drinking water habits, maybe untreated stormwater could?
This waste water, if it is untreated, can mean many nasties from city pavements and roads and residents each flow into the Waikato River. Look at the picture at the top of this web page --- and notice how close the Hamilton city homes and residential roadways are to this part of the Waikato River.
Contaminated storm-water washed off parking lots, roads and highways, and lawns (often containing fertilizers and pesticides) is called urban runoff.
This runoff is often classified as a type of NPS (non point source) pollution. Some people may also consider it a point source because many times it is channeled into municipal storm drain systems and discharged through pipes to nearby surface waters. However, not all urban runoff flows through storm drain systems before entering water bodies. Some may flow directly into water bodies, especially in developing and suburban areas.
Maybe the treated sewerage flowing into the Waikato from many towns is not enough---maybe the extensive industrial wastes and toxins flowing into the Waikato River are not enough---maybe the addition of untreated stormwater drainage into the Waikato River is not enough to influence your choices.
Floods/storms in various tributaries and the adjoining farmland or towns can also add to the pollution of the Waikato River.
IS WAIKATO RIVER POLLUTED WITH SOME RESIDUAL RADIOACTIVE WASTES?
Does this next probability influence the choice you make about your drinking water?
Radioactive waste has been reported to have been detected by one German diagnostic lab in the Waikato River.
Perhaps this came from the application of a possible radioactive phosphate/super phosphate on farmlands which adjoin the Waikato River:
Some suggest that today phosphate for processing at the large NZ super phosphate manufacturers has in recent years been imported into NZ from a country which has used atomic/nuclear bombs to clear/expose land for phosphate extraction, with likely radioactive residue in that phosphate and, if so, thence into NZ rivers and water ways bordering farms using that phosphate.
Others suggest such serious pollutant signals in the Waikato River might have come from leachate from a buried nuclear waste product near the river itself.
One thing is clear. Since this issue was raised as a probability around 2001, following the water tests, no one in Government has addressed this probability or actioned any public Government reports to counter or remedy it. Rather they dammed those who investigated or dared to publish this probability. Refer to some reports of this in the prior publications called Rainbow News/Healthy News.
See also the NZ Investigate Magazine article HERE. This is the lead page of this Investigate Magazine article.
HUNTLY POWER STATION
The Waikato River also takes water from the river to provide cooling water for the coal/natural gas fired thermal power station at Huntly. This power station is one of the biggest carbon dioxide greenhouse gas generators in NZ, contributing over half of New Zealand's emissions of greenhouse gases from electricity generation.
This power station uses some coal...and there are also coal mines in the Huntly area near the Waikato River.
The power station has three types of water to return to the river or otherwise deal with: 'cooling' water is returned as warmer water to the river; 'process' water is sent to the Waikato River, as is site stormwater.
In order ('they' say) to protect aquatic life, conditions are imposed by the Huntly Power Station's resource consents, specifying the quantity of water that can be daily removed by the station along with the maximum temperature of the water when returned to the river (25°C).
In June 1973 National Water and Soil Conservation Authority (NWASCA) granted the rights, subject to conditions designed to limit negative impacts on water quality in this intensively developed water resource, for Huntly Power Station to extract 34,200 tonnes of water an hour at Huntly – for cooling purposes, and to discharge this water back into the river at approximately 8 degrees centigrade above ambient river temperature. This is about 35 million litres per hour, or about 840 million litres per 24 hour day.
An environmental Auckland based group of professional and expert people, called Environmental Defence Society (EDS), and being motivated by concern for the ecological condition of the Waikato River, gave their time for free. This group appealed these decisions/take and discharge rights. Tainui elder Robert Mahuta, on behalf of Ngati Mahuta and the Tainui hapu of the Huntly area, also appealed the rights granted.
The appeal outcome was that an environmental impact report was required, but the water take and discharge rights remained.
In 1975 NZED (NZ Electricity Department) applied to NWSCA for a second water right, this time to discharge waste water into the river that contained toxic chemicals used to clean the boilers in the power stations. Its application was supported by studies by scientists in the government’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) which demonstrated that these chemicals would be rendered harmless once they became diluted in the river. NWSCA accepted this evidence and granted the rights, but its decision was also appealed.
The appealants accused NZED of failing to make the toxic properties of some of the chemicals clearly known, and the situation was made more menacing by evidence from an independent chemist asserting that the discharge would be so poisonous as to kill trout in the river. As a result, some extra conditions were imposed to try to protect and monitor water quality in the river. But the overall polluting effects into the Waikato River remained.
Today the water take and discharge rights and other impacts on the Waikato River are summarised by Huntly Power station owner Genesis, as follows:
- Taking up to 40 m³/s of cooling water from the Waikato River at the cooling water intake.
- Discharging that cooling water back to the Waikato River at the cooling water outfall at a temperature up to 8.6ºC warmer than when abstracted (when all of Units 1 - 4 are running). The final outfall structure runs parallel to the Waikato River bank and consists of 20 outfall ports protruding into the Waikato River through the walls of the structure. The 8.6 degree temperature limit is more complicated that it appears, as it seems to be averaged, and is set at various max levels at differing distances from the station.
- Discharging to the Waikato River with that cooling water, process water and decant ash pond water. Units 1 to 5 require ultra-pure or ‘demineralised’ water for the operation of their boilers, and water from the Waikato River is treated to this standard for this use. Unit 6 also requires a small amount of ‘demineralised’ water for the emissions control systems. The treatment process includes both treatment of water prior to its use in the boilers, and “polishing” of the condensate within the boilers steam cycle to remove impurities which concentrate in the system. During the treatment process, suspended sediments and dissolved salts are removed from the water, and these sediments and salts, along with the coagulants and flocculants (aluminium and polymers) used to separate them, are returned to the Waikato River with the cooling water discharge. These waste streams include the water treatment plant effluents (i.e., backwash and regeneration) and condensate polisher regeneration effluents, and are discharged through the cooling water outfall structure into the Waikato River. Periodically the water within the boilers and their condensers also has to be regenerated or drained, and those wastewaters are also discharged to the cooling water outfall.
- Discharging stormwater to the Waikato River.
- Modifying the flow dynamics of the Waikato River adjacent to the Station using the Iowa Vanes.
Of interest, is that the total flow rate of the Waikato River at Huntly in a set time range of tests was about 915 cu m secs as a peak max which occurred on 25 July 2012, while the lowest daily flow of 172 cu m secs occurred on 12 April 2013. The 40 cubic metres a sec Huntly Power Station water intake would be about between 20 and 25% of the total river flow at its low flow periods.
To compare with the original water take/discharge rights, we can convert 40 metres cubed a second to become about 40,000 litres per second, which becomes about 24 million litres per minute, or about 1,440 million litres per hour. This seems much higher that the original 1973 water take and discharge....but our comparative arithmetic might be incorrect?
As an attempt to understand the process water discharge rights, it seems the Huntly Power Station is permitted to discharge the following potential contaminants into the Waikato River in differing allowable quantities, with each differing by use of the water in the power station. These seem to be the maximum allowable limits of some potential pollutants at some discharge purposes and/or points - for some purposes the limits are lower than these maximums:
Water pH 6 to 9
Aluminium 70 mg/l
Ammonia 650 mg/l
Boron 15 mg/l
Chloride 250 mg/l
Chlorine (free residual) 0.5 mg/l
Co-Polymer (Acrylate) 9.2 mg/l
Phosphate 20 mg/l
Phosphorus 1.0 mg/l
Sodium 350 mg/l
Sodium Sulfate 9,300 mg/l
Sulphate 150 mg/l
Suspended Solids 700mg/l
TDS 4,000 mg/l
Water Soluble Copper 0.02 mg/l
Water Soluble Iron 3.0 mg/l
Water Soluble Zinc 0.11 mg/l
To view more detail and explanation, see the Genesis web site at:
A writer to the Investigate Magazine speculated that there might be some residual coal ash in the 'process' water and that this might have some damaging effects on Waikato River water quality. We do not know the answer to this. We are also not enabled to fully understand if any of this cooked coal ash or water used to settle any ash, ever flows or moves (e.g. via possibly tainted groundwater) back to the Waikato River. Fly and bottom ash are each composed of glassy fractions, and inclusive of a range of other compounds.
This is what the owners of this power station say about coal ash --- called fly and bottom ash.
"From the coal-burning process, the fly ash that is not collected by a local cement company, and all furnace bottom ash, is mixed with water into a lean-phase slurry. This is sent through a pipeline to ash settling ponds two kilometers from the power station. In the summer of 2011/2012, approximately 150,000 tonnes of historic pond ash was excavated and trucked to a nearby mine void. As this disposal has been happening for several years, the capacity of the purpose-built disposal pod at the coal mine was reached this season. Recently, pond ash has also been transported to a large municipal landfill facility where it is presently being used for two important applications. Its main use is as daily cover on top of the fresh waste, which saves the need to utilize onsite virgin clay materials for the daily cover purpose. The second function is to use the ash as an engineered fill layer on top of the landfill’s basal lining system."
CADMIUM & FLUORIDE & URANIUM
There is the serious danger of cadmium and residual fluoride and uranium leaching into the Waikato River from the super phosphate used on most farms. Yes, super phosphate includes all three of these potentially polluting metals....including URANIUM. It may also contain spent radioactive residue, from prior atomic blasts of the originating phosphate.
There are also the multitude of herbicides and pesticides used on farms adjoining this Waikato River, with potential for each to leach into the Waikato River and/or its tributaries. Some herbicide and pesticides can become endocrine disrutors when introduced into human bodies, just like cadmium is now proven to be.
Cadmium is known to be much higher in phosphate used on many NZ farms, than might be reasonably allowed, despite low cadmium phosphate being available internationally (at a higher price) from some world sources. Organic farms are very restricted as to the cadmium levels they can operate under.
These potential cadmium pollutants were subject of a Massey Universtiy research paper, and since much has been written by others, but not enough has been done to limit more cadmium on NZ pastures. Cadmium remains a significant and dangerous pollutant on farm land, and as run-off to rivers and as uptake in animals reared on such land and on plants grown on such land. Cadmium overdose in humans can result in a wide range of health complications --- by example see these web sites:
- Cadmium affects blood pressure.
- Cadmium affects prostate function and testosterone levels.
- Cadmium induces bone damage (Itai-ltai).
- Exposure to cadmium can affect renal and dopaminergic systems in children.
- According to the US Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, cadmium induces multiple organ damage and one aspect of that is as a carcinogen. Research by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services confirms cadmium is linked to human pancreatic cancer.
- Cadmium has a very detrimental effect on the central nervous system, including decreased attention and memory in humans. This is likely because cadmium induces neuron cell death. Neurons are brain cells that communicate and transmit information, if they are affected, so is brain function.
- Exposure to this toxic metal even affects the unborn before they’ve even joined this world. Cadmium is well-known to cross the placenta and to accumulate in fetal tissues.
- The kidney is the principal organ targeted by chronic exposure to cadmium. Cadmium nephrotoxicity may follow chronic inhalation or ingestion. Data from human studies suggest a latency period of approximately 10 years before clinical onset of renal damage, depending on intensity of exposure.
http://www.cadmium.org/pg_n.php?id_menu=5 (this web site seems to minimise the potential risk of cadmium poisoning- whereas other web sites stress the higher risk in todays environment)
- It has been well established that excess cadmium exposure produces adverse health effects on human beings.
- Much of the cadmium which enters the body by ingestion comes from terrestrial foods. This is to say, from plants grown in soil or meat from animals which have ingested plants grown in soil. Thus, directly or indirectly, it is the cadmium present in the soil and the transfer of this cadmium to food plants. Phosphate fertilisers account for 41.3 % of the source of human exposure to cadmium. 1% arises from cadmium in drinking water.
- Cadmium is known to accumulate in the human kidney for a relatively long time, from 20 to 30 years, and, at high doses, is also known to produce health effects on the respiratory system and has been associated with bone disease.
A Massey University research paper suggests that much farmland in the Waikato Region is cadmium poisoned, with cumulative effects very difficult to minimise over time.
See also these additional references:
Cavanagh JE, Scott J, Stevenson B 2013. Status of research on Cd in New Zealand. Landcare Research Report Draft.
EU 2007. European Union risk assessment report: Cadmium oxide and cadmium metal Part 1- Environment. European Commission.
FAO/WHO 1989. Toxicological evaluation of certain food additives and contaminants: Cadmium. WHO Food Additive Series 24. Thirty-third meeting of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives. World Health Organization: Geneva.
Joy M, 2012 Opinion: The long-term poisoning of our rural soils with the heavy metal cadmium threatens vast tracts of rural land and will soon affect the exportability of crops and animals. Rural News August 23, 2012
Kim, ND 2005. Cadmium accumulation in Waikato soils. Environment Waikato Technical Report 2005/51.
MAF 2008. Cadmium in New Zealand Agriculture. Report of the Cadmium Working Group August 2008. Wellington, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Available at http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/rural-nz/sustainable-resource-use/landmanagement/cadmium-in-nz/.
McDowell RW 2012. The rate of accumulation of cadmium and uranium in a long-term grazed pasture: implications for soil quality. New Zealand Journal of Agriculture.
Schipper LA, Sparling GA, Fisk LM, Dodd MB, Power IL, Littler RA. 2011b. Rates of accumulation of cadmium and uranium in a New Zealand hill farm soil as a result of longterm use of phosphate fertilizer. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 144: 95–101.
Taylor M, Gibb R, Willoughby J, Hewitt A, Arnold G 2007. Soil maps of cadmium in New Zealand. Report for Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Landcare Research, Hamilton, New Zealand. 55 p
We again refer to Dr Theo Colburn aboutmajor scientific research about cadmium poisoning (and other human induced poisoning) on humans and animals. This book is titled ‘Our Stolen Future’ and can be seen HERE. This is a book is now translated into 14 languages, and is about the health and environmental threats created by man-made chemical contaminants that are carried on land AND IN WATER, and which interfere with hormones in humans and wildlife.
Our Stolen Future suggests that such cadmium poisoning can have major adverse health effects, including sex reversal effects on animals (including humans) due to the estrogen mimicking effects of cadmium and the other side effects arising from cadmium over-intake.
If the farmland bordering the Waikato River is cadmium poisoned, as a Massey research report suggested, then it may follow the adjoining River is also. We could not find tests of the Waikato River water for this serious threat to a human life with normal functions.
'Our Stolen Future' tells the story of how endocrine disruption was discovered, how it works, what it means, and how families might be able to protect themselves and their communities.
Endocrine disrupting chemicals alter development of the fetus in the womb by interfering with the natural hormonal signals directing fetal growth. Their impacts, sometimes not detectable until years or decades after exposure, include reduced disease resistance, diminished fertility and compromised intelligence and behavior. Cadmium is but one of many endocrine disruptive elements.
AGRICULTURAL CHEMICAL POISONS & ANIMAL POOH in WAIKATO RIVER
Maybe it will be a revelation arising from self-study of the agricultural poisons (super phosphate has poisons within it, and herbicides and pesticides are poisons) and cow pooh run-off going into the Waikato River and its tributaries, which might become the breaking point in your choice and decision making about the water you choose to drink?
Due to the agricultural activity within the Waikato River catchment area, significant agricultural pollution is leached into groundwater and contained in the farms water runoff, some flowing into the Waikato River.
The mis-management of nitrogen fertilizer and effluent spreading practices in dairy farming is seen as one of the major causes of this river's pollution.
Since 2000 Environment Waikato has joined with conservation minded farmers to bring about more efficient and scientific use of fertilizers.
The removal of the native vegetation throughout the Waikato River's catchment areas, to accommodate the increasing demand for farmland, has contributed to the silting-up of the river with loose soils from eroded farmland, although most of the silting is due to the construction of the many hydro-dams and the inflow of sediment from the Waipa River.
Here is a picture of cows grazing right beside the Waikato River, unfenced and with access to the Waikato River, and not far from the Tuakau water intake for Auckland. Obviously, these cows urine and pooh can flow right into the Waikato River .
Here's a real picture showing specific river/stream pollution from farm animals (which may or may not be mixed with human sewerage).
This picture depicts a stream which we are told flows into the Waikato River.
FAECAL CONTAMINATION OF AN 'AGRICULTURAL' STREAM
In the above picture, John Nagels is demonstrating the muddiness of bed sediment in the Topehaehae Stream. Such turbid plumes have very high levels of faecal indicator bacteria. (Photo: R. Davies-Colley)
The discovery of high faecal indicator bacteria, followed a study of faecal contamination of a pastoral agricultural stream that drains a catchment in dairy and dry stock (sheep/beef) farming. In their study a stream – the Topehaehae stream, near Morrinsville in the Waikato Region – was tested and during normal flows there were typically about 100 faecal indicator bacteria per 100 ml. of water.
During a natural flood in September 1999 in the Topehaehae Stream they measured very much higher concentrations of bugs in the water, peaking at around 40,000 per 100 ml. In fact, the number of bacteria washed out over about three days by this one flood event was more than that washed out in a full year at normal flows; and the maximum number of bacteria passing per second was about the same as that typically flowing in the Waikato River, which is 100 times larger than the Topehaehae.
During this flood, the bacteria concentrations correlated much more closely with turbidity than with flow, apparently because bacteria behave rather like fine sediment. (Turbidity is a convenient index of fine suspended matter in the water.) Both bacterial concentrations and turbidity peaked before the flood peak.
In a flood, the bacteria could have come from the stream sediments, or from faecal deposits on pasture washed into the stream. To study the sediment source of bacteria separately from pasture wash-in, they created short artificial floods in the stream, by releasing water from a water reservoir (supplying Morrinsville) located on the upper reaches of the Topehaehae Stream. The experiments were carried out during fine weather when the stream channel was the only possible source of bacteria.
The results of an experiment in which a series of three identical flood events were produced on three successive days were that the bacteria peaked well ahead of the flow peaks, and there was a good correlation between faecal bacteria and turbidity caused by fine sediment entrained by the flood flows. This showed that much of the faecal contamination mobilised by floods comes from the sediments of the stream. By assuming that an infinite number of identical floods would wash out every last bacterium in the stream, we calculated the size of the sediment store: 100 million bacteria per square metre of stream-bed.
THIS IS NOT IN THE WAIKATO RIVER --- BUT IT COULD BE?
The next picture depicts another NZ waterway which does NOT flow into the Waikato River.
It nonetheless suggests, potential for events exactly like this real example shown here, to occur along the vast Waikato River boundary or along tributaries which flow into the Waikato River.
The above picture is of a section of a waterway in NZ's WAIROA RIVER - this picture is an example of pollution in 2013 in this NZ river.
While the Wairoa River itself does not flow into the Waikato River, this pictorial example is what can happen to any NZ river ---as the boundaries of each river are unprotected from any dumping of animal carcasses or other rubbish.
Also, where the Waikato River and its tributaries are NOT fenced from livestock, then there will from time to time be stock falling into the river or tributaries, and dying and rotting in the river.
If the huge international corporates, like those who owe the Kinleith pulp and paper mill, are permitted by law to pollute our rivers, why not also the average NZer?
AGAIN, THIS IS NOT IN THE WAIKATO RIVER --- BUT COULD IT BE?
The next picture depicts another NZ waterway which does NOT flow into the Waikato River.
It nonetheless suggests, potential for events exactly like this real example shown here, to occur along the vast Waikato River boundary or along tributaries which flow into the Waikato River.
This warning sign could apply to any river where untreated sewerage or chemicals might be, by accident or unwittingly, released.
WHAT OTHER POLLUTANTS MIGHT FLOW INTO OUR GREATEST NZ RIVER?
It is suggested that NZ uses about 80% of the total 1080 production worldwide. Why? Why do we agree, once again, to be the guinea pig-test market for a classic poison?
"Modern medicine has discovered that endocrine disrupting poisons like 1080 can reduce fertility and cause birth defects at levels as low as parts per trillion...." Jim Hilton, BSc Hons.
We offer people concerned about health and their drinking water the opportunity to watch the videos concerning endocrine disruptors presented by DrTheo Colburn HERE
With the Government policy toward support for large chemical selling corporates, the poison 1080 falls on areas around Auckland's water storage dam in the Hunua Ranges and also into streams and tributaries of the Waikato River, with residual flow to the Auckland and Hamilton water treatment plants.
Do these processing/refining/treatment plants eliminate all 1080 traces below parts per trillion, and is the energetic influence of 1080 poison removed before you drink that glass of tap water? Who can tell? Who tries to check? Who cares?
There is also no doubt that 1080, once applied by air to the forests around Auckland and the Waikato, kills a wide range of life ---they say it is to kill possums and pigs --- but also it kills indiscriminately, perhaps akin to how agent orange deformed life in the Vietnam years....when its effect ran over to the next generation of those poisoned. Our neighbor has reported to us that when he has inspected the forest in the Hunua Ranges post a 1080 drop, he has seen first hand dead sparrows and pukeko (so one assumes our icon birds, the native pigeon/kereru and kiwi are also murdered by 1080?). This same neighbor reports he has seen dead deer, dead rabbits, dead goats, dead rats, dead cats; and also the target, being dead possum and dead pigs.
He suggests if his dogs ate a dead animal post the 1080 drop, they would also die. He suggests hawks who eat a 1080 poisoned rabbit will also die. He also suggests he is aware of hundreds of people who would be excited with an opportunity to hunt and trap the possum and manage their numbers in such a non-poisonous manner. Why does the Government not replace poisoning all of the beings in our forest, with human hunter/trapper management?
In 2008 Stuff.co.nz reported Seven kea died at Fox Glacier after eating 1080 poison, wiping out almost half a group of the endangered and protected parrot being monitored by the Conservation Department.
DOC is reviewing its use of the poison after the deaths were revealed in a draft internal report, obtained by The Dominion Post. The report says "aerial 1080 may well be a significant threat to the kea population" with some drops "probably devastating". DOC fitted radio transmitters to 29 West Coast kea - 10 in Arawhata Valley, two in the Hohonu Range, and 17 near Fox Glacier - to see if they survived 1080 drops. All birds in the first two areas survived, but seven near the glacier died.
A 2011 report to NZ Parliament included this statement:
"Birds may be killed by eating 1080 baits directly and predatory birds, such as falcons, Australasian harriers, ruru and weka could be killed if they eat an animal that has eaten poisoned bait. Individuals from 19 species of native birds and 13 species of introduced birds have been found dead after aerial 1080 drops. Most of these recorded bird deaths were associated with only four operations 35 years ago that used poor quality carrot baits with many small fragments. Overall, far more bird deaths have been associated with the use of carrot baits rather than cereal baits."
Any study about the potential danger of 1080 to our wider ecosystem in NZ cannot be understood without reference to this extensive research:
These scientists state, at the outset:
"..it was our intention to confine ourselves to the scientific evidence supporting the use of aerial 1080. However, it quickly became apparent that, although the scientific evidence is far from adequate to justify the extraordinary national policy of indiscriminately spreading poisoned food throughout whole forest ecosystems, the scientific evidence is not the whole story. We will show that the manner in which DoC has been interpreting the scientific evidence is as much a problem as is the evidence itself. There is a pattern of misrepresentation, omission, and distortion in DoC’s writings and pronouncements so obvious and so flagrant that the scientific evidence could not be explained without documenting this aspect as well.
The particularly grave possibility is that of a child walking into a recently poisoned forest and eating some bait. Because DoC frequently drops aerial 1080 into forests that are near human habitation and that are commonly accessed by humans, this risk would appear to be substantiaI; indeed at least one child was almost killed.
As a weapon, 1080 would certainly qualify as one of mass destruction. A few kilograms put into at city’s water supply in the right place could result in the death of hundreds or thousands of persons. "
The above aside, the critical aspect to consider vis a vis Auckland and Hamilton drinking water --- is any trace of 1080 left in this water at the time it reaches the taps?
Aside from the 1080 that might air-drop into the streams/rivers and water dams themselves --- there would also be river contamination by dead-poisoned animals falling into the streams and rivers, and rotting therein, with the 1080 inside of them.
What is 1080? Is it related to agent orange? Is it related to fluoride? The NZ forest and bird society suggest 1080 is a manufactured version of flouroacetate, of the family of fluoride. If this is correct...then why is fluoride added to drinking water.
The NZ forest and bird society state:
"Dogs are particularly sensitive to 1080. Dogs are usually poisoned if they eat the
carcass of a dead animal (such as a possum or rabbit) that has been killed by 1080.
A lot of effort is put into informing the public about where 1080 operations have been
carried out. Roads and tracks leading to these areas are signposted with warnings to
dog owners to keep their dogs away or muzzle them. Local vets are advised before
1080 drops are carried out, and, contrary to popular belief, vets are able to save dogs
suspected of eating 1080 using the antidote acetamide up to four hours after ingestion.
Post 1080 monitoring of insect populations has shown that they are resilient to 1080, with only a small fall in numbers.
Accidental by-kill of native species (by 1080, have been reduced in recent years). Tomtits and robins are the most vulnerable native bird species, but as they are prolific breeders they recover quickly and thrive as a result of the reduced predation that follows successful 1080 operations.
Of the 150 kea that have been directly monitored, 20 (12%) have died after having ingested 1080 baits. But in every area the improved nesting success rate has more than made up for those losses."
The above aside...the NZ forest and bird society states the NZ Ministry of Health sets an allowable limit for 1080 in humans drinking water --- being:
"The maximum amount of 1080 residue allowed in NZ drinking water is 2.0 ppb."
Here is what a NZ icon ex-possum hunter, Jim Hilton, BSc Hons, Nelson-Buller based wildlife biologist and ecologist, said in his talk to the Nelson Science Society, about 1080, as was reported in the Kapiti Independent News - See full article HERE:
"There was a family of kea parrots living on the Karamea Bluff Road at the time of the first aerial 1080 poisoning. They disappeared after that. I was not the only one to notice. I like kea and enjoyed their company. It’s lonely up in the bush when you spend all day there skinning possums. I had skinned about 15,000 possums and knew that Tb was not a problem. Only about .03% of possums were infected. The other possum hunters knew that too. The only places we found unhealthy possums infected with Tb were where cattle had been farmed.
Bush birds and spectacular dawn chorus were common in New Zealand’s lowland bush before “serial overkill” by aerial 1080 poison for possum control.
Mass poisoning with toxic chemicals reduces biodiversity and promotes monocultures.
It favours fast breeding species at the expense of slower breeding species. This is where we have made a huge mistake with Aerial 1080 poison, Brodificaum and common farming insecticides like Diazinon. As well as killing our rare wildlife, many species quite common until recently, like the black billed gull (pictured alongside), and the black fronted tern, which like feeding on insects in freshly cultivated paddocks, are now becoming rare.
These birds have survived okay with introduce mammalian species for over 100 years, but are not doing so well now that poisons are in the mix.
We still have a few possums in NZ. About 1.2 million are harvested annually for fur and converted into useful export dollars. A taxpayer funded “poison industry” kills an unknown number annually and leaves them to rot where they die. Some are in waterways (mountain streams and rivers)...some on the forest floor...some in their dry nests under large rocks and tree roots.
This process of “over hunting” is described by population ecologists as“serial overkill” or “Blitzkrieg” extinction” when a species is wiped out completely and matches what happened to wildlife in other parts of the world.
Times change and somehow present society has lost sight of the value of introduced wildlife. With proper wildlife management, real jobs and real money could replace what is now a drain on the public purse. We have the people, we have the technology.
We don’t have enough animals, but with sensible management we can get them back. The present idea that introduced wildlife species are pests and should be poisoned is wrong. It is scientifically wrong and morally wrong.
We also know that 70% or more of non-target wildlife, like robins, tomtits, frogs and insects, are also killed.
All we are doing with aerial poisons like 1080 is constantly diluting our wildlife, native and introduced. It is an expensive exercise in futility, financially unsustainable, ecologically unsustainable and not doing the job of saving species at all. It is killing them, some faster than others.
Poison Free New Zealand” is what we need, with sensible wildlife management to “rewild” our forests with browsing wildlife and domestic animals again.
That way our remaining native forests will more resemble their pre-human state of 800 years ago: a well tracked forest with an open under storey, where our rare and endangered birds like kakapo, takahe and saddleback can again thrive.
I’m sure one of the main reasons mankind has got itself into trouble with poisons, is because science today looks at things in smaller and smaller detail.
I’m not the first person to conclude that if we keep examining things in minute detail, eventually we will know everything about nothing. I like to step back and look at the big pictures. Otherwise we will never see the “wood (forest) for the trees.
Worldwide, countries are insisting on uncontaminated food products; they want ethically farmed natural food products. They don’t want food pumped up with artificial chemicals and tainted with faint traces of biological poisons. Modern analytical laboratories can measure contaminants down to parts per trillion.
Modern medicine has discovered that endocrine disrupting poisons like 1080 can reduce fertility and cause birth defects at levels as low as parts per trillion. The sophisticated markets which pay top dollar for our export produce are insisting more and more on a clean bill of health. They have the testing procedures to make sure we play by the rules. Natural diseases like TB are easily avoided; not so the damaging effects of pollutants from our industrial age.
Modern tourists want to visit a country which is genuinely clean and green, not one where clean and green is simply a marketing slogan."
The above is the sort of warning that comes with 1080 bait drops in our forests. NOTE the skull and crossbones and warning about this poison and children.
We will let those who drink tap water or bore water do further investigations. Maybe some people who feel some concern inside themselves for the mass and painful killing 1080 effects, and/or to the eventual pollution of waterways and also probably also to groundwater...and to the possible traces left in some tap water and some bore water.
If one is interested to learn more, this group have access to much information --https://www.facebook.com/ban 1080pArty
Because our spring is sourced from a contained/confined artesian aquifer, it does not have an impact on the quality of our spring water, as long as we carefully protect the exact location where our spring comes to the surface of earth...as we have spent the past few years so doing.
CAN SEA WATER ENTER AUCKLAND INTAKE FROM WAIKATO RIVER?
The location of the Auckland water intake from the Waikato River near Tuakau, is where there is still a sea-tidal influence at this part of the Waikato River. This gives rise to the possibility of some sea water being included in the water intake for Auckland's drinking water.
Some might suggest that sea water, when treated with a Reverse Osmosis filtering and separation system, is fine to drink - BUT this might also be a fallacy? It is correct that the Auckland Tuakau water treatment plant uses a sophisticated Reverse Osmosis treatment plant (called by Watercare a 'membrane' system); AND it is correct that the Reverse Osmosis/Membrane systems were developed to try to separate salt from sea water, to change sea water so it is able to be consumed; AND it is correct this Reverse Osmosis/Membrane system works in that specific regard.
However, there are ugly potential side-effects of using Reverse Osmosis/Membrane systems rearing their head in USA. Click HERE and read about one possible side-effect of Reverse Osmosis/Membrane systems creating water which when drunk DOES NOT HYDRATE the body of the drinker!
The possible reason for this anomaly is that for water to get inside human cells it uses a process of Osmosis. Given water holds and retains a memory (see HERE), perhaps once it has been treated in a Reverse Osmosis manner, it may not longer get into body cells using Osmosis?
There are other recent reports that suggest other health problems might arise from regular drinking of treated sea water, that has had salt and other minerals removed. The interested reader can discover these for themselves.
That the Waikato River is tidal at the point where it enters to pipes for Auckland is confirmed in the December 2013 Watercare application to the Regional Council to take water from the Waikato River at this web site:
and note these words on page 47 of this document:
" although Tuakau is subject to greater tidal influence than Mercer..." (page 47)
and note these words on page 57 of this document:
"As previously noted, sea water intrudes upstream from the river mouth against fresh water river discharge in the Waikato River. The density differences between the saline and fresh water can create stratified flow, resulting in a wedge of sea water under the river water, which is not in contact with the air, and thus can become deoxygenated, with consequent effects on aquatic communities. The extent of the saline wedge up the Waikato River depends on tide level and coincident river flows. As a result it is not possible to define a single location to which the salt wedge extends. Previous reports have noted changes in water level in the Waikato River as a result of tidal influence extending as far as Rangiriri, however, saline intrusion is restricted to the lower reaches (approximately 2-3 km upstream from the river mouth) (Tonkin and Taylor 2013)..." (page 57)
and note these words on page 78 of this document:
"The change in water level at the Watercare intake due to tidal influences of approximately 0.5 m will be more significant than the changes due to the additional take proposed by Watercare... Compared to the existing conditions on the river, and the effects due to the twice daily tidal variation (approximately 0.5 m) the effects on the hydrology and hydraulic regime of the river due to the proposed abstraction are considered to be no more than minor" ( page 78)
and note these words on page 80 of this document:
"Between the intake and estuary the Waikato River is influenced by the tide. At high tide the water velocity would be lower and the water depth would be greater than at low tide. A reduction in water depth, such as occurs at low tide, would increase daily maximum water temperature. If high tide occurred near midday, the predicted change in maximum water temperature would be slightly less than predicted and at low tide the predicted maximum water temperature would be slightly higher..." (page 80)
and note these words on page 84 of this document:
"...no salinity survey data are available for the lower Waikato River..." (page 84)
The above suggests a tidal influence as far back up the Waikato River as Rangiriri, which is far upstream from the Auckland water intake pipe - and at the actual Auckland water pipe intake, the report suggest the regular twice daily tidal influence to be about half a meter (but a chart reveals that at spring tides, this tidal change in height of the Waikato River might might be closer to 0.8 to 0.9 m). However the report suggests a salt water wedge may not go upstream that far - but this report adds they cannot define the exact extent of its reach, and also adds that with global warming and rising sea levels the salt wedge will move further upstream. Aside from the 'salt wedge', might there be other ways of a potential mix of freshwater and salt water?
It seems extraordinary that no one has required a salinity survey for the lower Waikato River!
Other interesting observations in this above Watercare document include:
"The site (where the intake pipe is located) is not considered suitable for general swimming..." (page x)
"Overall sediment supply coming down the Waikato River has been largely influenced by development and operation of the hydroelectric power schemes in the catchment, which have restricted the downstream movement of sediment..." (page 43)
"The existing Watercare intake structure appears to have been designed and built at a time when the river bed was at a historically low level (Tonkin and Taylor 2008). At the time the existing screen structure was constructed the river bed level was at approximately RL-8.0 m, providing approximately 4.5 – 5.0 m clearance between the screens and the river bed..... some increase of the bed level ..... appears to have occurred. The survey undertaken in 2007 showed approximately 4.0 m of sediment accumulation at the intake since November 2004 (Tonkin and Taylor 2008). A hydrographic survey in February 2008 indicated that the bed level was approximately 0.5 m to 1.0 m below the underside of the intake screens at that time..." (page 45)
"There are a number of natural and man-made catchment characteristics that influence water quality in the Waikato River including the Lake Taupo catchment geology, geothermal activity in the upper Waikato catchment, hydroelectric generation along the river, and a range of rural and urban land use activities. In addition, the Waipa River is a major tributary that flows into the Waikato River at Ngaruawahia and influences in that catchment also play a part. On occasion, the Waipa River can become turbid enough to limit the upstream migration of some native galaxiid fish species. This turbid water is largely due to land use activities and areas of instability in the upper Waipa catchment (Tonkin and Taylor 2013).
The Waikato Regional Council has been monitoring water quality at a range of sites along the Waikato River and throughout the catchment since 1987.
In particular, the Waikato Regional Council collects samples regularly from 10 sites along the Waikato River as follows: Taupo; Ohaaki; Ohakuri; Whakamaru; Waipapa; Hamilton-Narrows; Hamilton-Horotiu; Huntly; Mercer; and Tuakau.
The monitoring sites most relevant to the Watercare intake are at Mercer Bridge (location number 1131.91, located approximately 6 km upstream of the existing intake) and Tuakau Bridge (location number 1131.133, located approximately 5 km downstream of the existing intake).
The Council has developed an ecological health indicator of river water quality, with monitoring results classified into “excellent”, “satisfactory” and “unsatisfactory”.
Results for the wider Waikato catchment are summarised as follows:
Dissolved oxygen (“DO”), pH and ammonia levels in the Waikato River system are usually satisfactory or better;
Turbidity and temperature levels within the system are generally unsatisfactory;
Temperature increases between the cooler waters discharged near Lake Taupo and the lower Waikato River;
Nitrogen and Phosphorus levels increase with distance downstream along the main stem of the Waikato River;
Sites from the main stem of the Waikato River downstream of Karapiro have more unsatisfactory results than upstream main stem sites;
Suspended solids and turbidity increase with distance downstream. The increase in turbidity is largely due to the increased sediment load entering the Waikato River at Ngaruawahia due to the Waipa River confluence; and
Overall, water quality in the Waikato River decreases with distance downstream.
Water quality conditions between the Mercer and Tuakau monitoring sites are generally similar, although Tuakau is subject to greater tidal influence than Mercer. Dissolved oxygen and pH levels were generally classified as excellent under the ecological health indicator. Total phosphorus and turbidity were classified as unsatisfactory under the ecological health indicator (Table 4.4)..." (Pages 46-47)
"Sediment is drawn into the raw water pumping station wet well during operation of the existing intake. This can increase wear on pumps and pipework over time and results in sediment being transported to the clarifiers at the Waikato WTP when the plant is operated at high flows, impacting on operation of the plant... It is unlikely that the intake can be designed to prevent all sediment from entering the pumping station, therefore, a means of settling, storing and removing sediment will be incorporated into the pumping station design..." (page 64)
"Watercare is currently authorised to take up to 150,000 m3 /day (net) from the Waikato River for supply to Auckland. This proposal is for an increase in the net take of water from the Waikato River by a further 200,000 m3 /day for municipal supply purposes, giving a total net take from the river of 350,000 m 3 /day ..." (page 59)
EFFECTS ON WATER INTAKE OF POLLUTING ACTIVITIES DOWNSTREAM
Due to the considerable tidal impact, in the Waikato River at the point of water intake for Auckland, as is clearly reported above, it would seem to logically follow that polluting activity in the Waikato River downstream of the Auckland water intake pipes, could be pushed back to the intake pipe due to tidal effects.
The seem to be six major polluting activities located not far downstream from the Auckland water intake, namely:
- The old closed Tuakau tip, which must be still leaching into the Waikato River. This is located just west of the Tuakau Bridge - and anecdotal reports suggest many toxic substances were buried here, including many old rusty vehicle wrecks, and
- Tuakau Proteins and Waikato By-Products, an animal by-prduct rendering plant in Lapwood Road (now called Graeme Lowe Protein Limited) ---This blood and bone meat processing facility is reported by locals to, at times, 'spill' blood into the Waikato River from killed animals. Around June 2015 it applied to increase the dumping of treated effluent and other liquid wastes into the Waikato River, up to 1,300 cubic meters per day. Some locals suggest, at times, the Waikato River water near there can be red with blood, and that sharks have been seen feeding and 'patrolling' this part of the river, - see some more on this web site: http://ratsattuakaunz.blogspot.co.nz/ and
- Enviroferts Tuakau food destruction facility, and
- Winstone Aggregrates runs a quarry and sand mining operation (taking water from the Waikato River and sand from the River bed) close the Waikato Water Treatment and Intake Plant.
- Glenbrook Steel Mill take water from the lower Waikato River - the question is do they put 'used' polluted water back into the same Waikato River?
- Iron sand miners take water from the lower Waikato River- the question is do they put 'used' polluted water back into the same Waikato River?
HUMAN USE OF SURFACE OF WAIKATO RIVER
Today, Jet skis and power boats regularly use the river, including manufacturers and boating shops testing and demonstrating boats, especially in summer.
Sometimes water skiers can be seen on the river.
The river surface is used for rowing.
There are also some larger vessels which use the river surface, with motor fumes and maybe some oil residue. An example is Waikato River explorer vessel. See it here : www.waikatoexplorer.co.nz/
Imagine someone applying and receiving for a permit to use the Auckland holding water dams as a recreation resource for weekend boating and skiing and more? Unlikely? Impossible we suggest.
Other use the sides of the Waikato River for duck shooting, where some can virtually live alongside this river for days on end in mai mais (probably shitting and peeing directly into it while doing so). Of course, duck shooters on such expeditions also live with their dogs, the dogs sometimes swimming into Waikato River to retrieve dead/shot/bleeding ducks; again probably another resource of dog pee and/or dog pooh --- and duck /bird blood.
The above is a picture of a mai mai alongside the Waikato, used during suck shooting season.
A few game persons swim in the Waikato River, again some possibly peeing while swimming?
It is reported that some people who swim regularly in the Waikato River and/or its tributaries can contact a rash or skin itch. One explanation to this is a 'thing' called 'duck or swimmers itch', which is put down to be caused by a parasitic flatworm larvae which lives in parts of the Waikato River catchment, and burrows into the exposed skin of swimmers and divers using this river.
However a local report by a Maori leader is:
"Pollution is a huge factor in Hamilton. Sometimes our kids will swim in the Waikato River and come out with rashes.....sometimes simply taking part in waka taua and they will get splashed (not swimming in river) and sometimes their arms will come up with rashes because of the exposure to the river." (from hui transcript - Poohara Marae, Waikato-Tainui)."
WAIPA RIVER FLOWS INTO THE WAIKATO RIVER - WHAT DOES IT BRING?
The concerns of the Ngati Maniapoto Iwi with the Waipa River (and its health) are set out in the preamble to the Nga Wai o Maniapoto (Waipa River) Act 2012. The deterioration of the health of the Waipa River, while the Crown had exercised overall responsibility for the management of the Waipa River, has been a source of distress for the people of Maniapoto. This Act now provides for co-governance of the Waipa River.
The Waipa River is acknowledged as a significant contributor to the Waikato River. The Waipa River is of deep, cultural significance to Maniapoto. It is a taonga to Maniapoto and respect for it lies at the heart of their spiritual and physical wellbeing and their tribal identity and culture.
The preamble to this Act states therein that Ngati Maniapoto considers the essence and wellbeing of the Waipa is Waiwaia, a spiritual guardian of all things that are the Waipa River. It adds that the obligation to the care and protection of 'te mana tuku iho o Waiwaia' extends to instilling knowledge and understanding within Maniapoto and the Waipa River communities about the nature and history of Waiwaia. The most important part of Waiwaia is that it is the water itself and without it man could not survive.
Our web site does, indeed, fulfill our own Heartland Farm's similar responsibility to share our knowledge and understanding about the Heartland Springs. We have been confirmed both by Maori/ Waitaha as the kaitiaki and kaitiakitanga of these Heartland Springs, and by European law as the owner --- after the British military took possession of these springs by conquest and then used them for their own sustenance.
We hold Heartland Springs in high regard, and they are a spiritual site in our eyes and also form part of our own spiritual being. With us being abut 70% water, and given we have been drinking this water from these springs for over 20 years, they are obviously part of us and we are a part of them --- and we can add, that to us, these Heartland Springs are a treasure.
We have also been involved for some 25 years, at high cost to us, and with no Crown assistance, in the general clean-up of our nearby community, including the surface water ways in our nearby community. These actions add to our claims to kaitiakitanga.
Also on this site: http://www.ew.govt.nz/Environment/Natural-resources/Water/Rivers/Waipa-River/How-clean-is-the-Waipa-River/ it says:
Waipa River - is it suitable for swimming?
There are two measures used to assess if water is suitable for human uses:
- bacteria levels (E. coli) and
- baseflow clarity
Bacteria levels (E. coli) – are measured as an indicator of the human health risk from harmful micro-organisms present in water, for example from human or animal faeces. Baseflow clarity – or the underwater visibility, is measured in metres, using a black disc. It is important for safety reasons to be able to see submerged objects. It is also important for aesthetics as most people prefer to see clear water in our rivers and streams. To allow good visibility for swimming you should be able to see 1.6m underwater.
Water quality in the Waipa River is generally not always good enough for swimming.
Levels of E. coli bacteria (an indicator of health risk) are often above the safe level for swimming. Levels of E. coli are much lower than they were 60 years ago because of the improvements in sewage and wastewater treatment.
E. coli comes from the dung of farm animals, animals living in the bush, such as pigs and goats, and from birds such as ducks and swans. Municipal sewage, urban stormwater and septic tank and industrial discharges are already regulated and considered to be minor sources.
Water clarity in the Waipa River is worse than in the Waikato River, due to different geology and land use. The cloudy, brown headwaters of the Waipa are due to sediment and natural tannins from bush and wetlands. The river’s appearance worsens as it flows through farmland. Sediment adds to the natural tannin to colour the Waipa murky brown.
The river fails contact recreation standards with low clarity (meaning it is not suitable for swimming).
IWI AND THE WAIKATO RIVER
We include more about the maori relationship with water on our web page HERE.
To understand more about the relationship of specific Maori iwi and the Waikato River one should read the 2010 NZ Government commissioned report referred to above and found on on the web site:
This report begins with this warning:
"The Waikato River is seriously degraded along much of its length."
Iwi feel particularly distressed by human sewerage discharges into the river."
For a number of Iwi within the Waikato Region, the Waikato River and other rivers are of great importance/significance.
The Waikato River is of particular significance.
It is considered a taonga (treasure), and is strongly linked to a sense of identity for Māori.
This river had in recent past an abundance of benefits for Māori and was consequently treated with great respect. Māori have long considered that the health of the river has in more recent times deteriorated, which may have in turn lead to poorer health for the people.
The quality of both coastal and inland water bodies are of great importance to Māori for many reasons.
These can be areas for kai (food) gathering, drinking water sources, provide recreational opportunities and hold historical and spiritual significance. These water bodies, when affected by contamination from both natural and human sources, have the potential to affect Māori health and well-being.
Naturally occurring contaminants in the Waikato Region include arsenic and mercury in the Waikato River from natural geothermal activity and the natural toxins from blooms of cyanbacteria (blue-green algae) in fresh water or toxigenic phytoplankton is seawater.
High levels of silt also affect the suitability of waterbodies for some uses. Natural water quality can also be affected by discharges from human activity. Contaminants may come from the chemicals in industrial water, farm runoff, and the discharge of human sewage to water. The discharge of human sewage to natural waterways is not only of physical concern, but is culturally offensive to Māori.
Drinking water quality is an important determinant of health for a population. New Zealand has relatively high rates of largely preventable enteric or gastro-intestinal disease, compared with other developed countries, which is at least partly attributable to contamination of drinking water.
Chemicals and toxins contaminants in source waters can also be a health risk, therefore, ensuring water quality is maintained at a high level is of great importance. The quality of drinking water may be an issue for some marae within the Waikato region.
The Ministry for the Environment has estimated that in the Waikato and Waipa river catchments alone around 67 marae do not have access to a reticulated treated water supply. The number of people reliant on marae water supply fluctuates as marae requirements are varied, and may include daily use by small groups (such as kōhanga reo that operate from marae), or larger gatherings of people on a more infrequent basis, such as weddings, tangi and unveilings. With the marae as the centre of cultural identity for many Māori, local Iwi have seen safe water quality at marae as a priority area.
What treats the 'energy' and/or memory or in Maori terms the mauri or wairua of this 'waste' water, which has been poured into the Waikato Rive today, forming part of the Waikato River and now part of the Auckland (and Hamilton) drinking and washing water?
There is now much recorded scientific work, which suggests some support to the principles on which homeopathy is based and founded. See videos here and here in our Cinema.
This suggests that no matter how much one dilutes particulate matter from water, to the point even when none physically exists, the energy or memory of that prior particulate remains in the water and is available to influence in a material manner those drinking the ‘purified’ water.
In 2008, Waikato-Tainui and the Crown signed a Deed of Settlement regarding the Waikato River. The purpose of the agreement was:
‘To enhance the relationship between the Crown and Waikato-Tainui; to recognise and sustain the special relationship Waikato-Tainui have with the Waikato river; to enter a new era of co-management over the Waikato river across a range of agencies; and reflect a unity of commitment to respect and care for the Waikato River’.
The focus of the agreement was on improving and maintaining the health of the Waikato River, to ensure it remained a valuable resource for future generations.
An agreement signed between Waikato Regional Council and Waikato River Authority in 2011 looks to further improve the health of the river through collaboration. $210 million has been committed to this project over the next 30 years.
Some comments about the Waikato River came from the leaders of the large Maori Tainui Iwi, Tukoroirangi Morgan and Taitimu Maipi, as were reported in 2008 in the Waikato Times Newspaper, these being:
"Now," says Maipi, "gesturing across the river to the township, the foodbasket's over there at Countdown."
He adds, eyeing the murky river, "it would be a brave man to eat anything out of there".
"Environment Waikato's research is 'a wake up call' for all of us, the effects of the degradation are huge, the scale is huge".
He describes the report as "pretty damning on farmers", but he believes it is a challenge for all parties to be more "proactive, intelligent and calculated about how we work together to improve". Morgan wants to co-operate with farmers on this mammoth task: "We're all stakeholders, we can't be isolated from each other."
"We lived in the water," Morgan says. "We took kai, the whitebait, small crayfish from under the willows, fresh water mussels (kaio). We'd cook crayfish in little pots. We all knew how to catch eels, these were essential skills." Morgan went eeling with his grandfather and recalls them once catching a huge eel "the biggest I've ever seen". He adds: "Why would you want to go catch eels in this place when you can't eat them?"
The Waikato Times report added:
"Morgan, 50, and Maipi, 70, both have their roots deep in this place, and they despair of the dirty river that was once a significant food source and playground for Tainui. Tainui chairman Morgan grew up at Huntly's Waahi Pa on the west bank, and he has been co-negotiator in the historic Waikato River settlement the tribe signed with the Government last month. Maipi has his home at Waahi and chairs the Waahi Whaanui Trust, a cluster of six local marae. When Maipi was a youngster living at Te Ohaki Marae, about 3-4 km downstream, he rowed a canoe to school at Huntly College and his family picnicked on an island in the river, eating watercress, freshwater mussels (kaio) and fish."
Morgan and Maipi have seen such changes on their doorstep, the decline of river kai and the resulting shift in social practices. Morgan pretty much learned to swim in the river at Huntly. The safer Waahi stream provided the "training pool", then the river was the next challenge. He jokes the big kids would swim the channel with little kids on their backs and leave them on a sand-bank: "We had to figure out how to get back." Not as risky as it sounds, because there was always a big group involved. When the river swimmers were older and bolder, they used to swim across to the movies in town with their clothes secured in plastic bags.
Maipi describes how houses bordering the waterway each had an eel trap and gardens to provide food for the table, people fished for mullet, trout, catfish and carp, and 40 or so years ago he and others were drinking water straight from the river. The shallows were clear, with no sediment, the sand acting as a natural filter.
Perhaps a decade later, Maipi says the then Huntly Borough Council was pumping raw sewage into the river; on a lunchtime swim when he worked at the town's post office he recalls seeing "white paper and shit floating past". Such practices have long since stopped, but nutrient leaching and run-off from farms have added to the river's woes.
Morgan is far from despondent, however, as he surveys the dirty water in front of him. This is the week the Waikato River Settlement Bill had its first reading in Parliament, the start of the legislative process for the tribe to become a partner of the Crown in relation to the protection and restoration of the Waikato River.
So while Morgan is mindful of the scale of the problem, he says the tribe is now beginning a journey to restore the health of this prized waterway. "The claim was always about the clean-up. We must consolidate what we want to do, and what is the nature of our contribution. We have to be creative about how we galvanise our marae committees."
Morgan stopped swimming in the river when he was about 19 because it had become too much of a health hazard and he doubts he'll do it again in his lifetime. Although maybe in 20 years, he speculates. He'd like to think his grandson might swim there one day.
"It is a huge challenge."
WAIKATO REGIONAL COUNCIL
In March 2015 the Waikato Regional Council warned all residents in the Waikato of the daunting task and the extreme difficulty they face with this honourable Waikato River clean-up aim.
These are some of their words in their latest Waikato community newspaper --- which they appropriately title 'YOUR WAIKATO":
"Water is our most precious resource and throughout the world is increasingly threatened by pollution and over-allocation. Water pollution is our community's number one environmental concern....We're consistently being told that protecting and improving our Region's water quality is what you care about most. And we do too.
Work is already underway on a collaborative project known as 'Healthy Rivers: Plan Of Change/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai '--- to improve the water quality of the Waikato and Waipa Rivers. The Waipa River's main issue is sediment, and most of the sediment in the Waikato River comes from the Waipa River."
Their March 2015 report summarised the main effects expected for this 'soon to be implemented' new 10 year plan. It came with a sad and dire warning about river quality and use, such with the Waiktato River. These are words of warning from our regional leaders:
"We need to realise that over the next 10 years major changes will impact on our environment and lifestyle.
Some of these include:
- our rivers and streams will have DECLINED IN QUALITY, and will be fully allocated to those taking water from them; and
- Auckland will be using more water from the WAIKATO RIVER to support its growth; and
- the Waikato (regional peoples) need to work together, to reverse or at least mitigate these expected changes. Please tell us what you think."
WAIKATO RIVER AND ITS HISTORY (this historical information from Wikipedia)
The Waikato River actually starts south of Lake Taupo, on the eastern slopes of Mount Ruapehu, joining the Tongariro River system and emptying into Lake Taupo, New Zealand's largest lake.
The Waikato River is the longest river in New Zealand, running for 425 kilometres through the North Island. It drains Lake Taupo at the lake's northeastern edge, creates the Huka Falls, and then flows northwest, through the Waikato Plains. It empties into the Tasman Sea south of Auckland, at Port Waikato.
The present course of the river was largely formed about 17,000 years ago.
Contributing factors were climate warming, forest being re-established in the river headwaters and the deepening, rather than widening, of the existing river channel. The channel was gradually eroded as far up river as Pairere, leaving the old Hinuera channel high and dry. The remains of the old river path can be clearly seen at Hinuera where the cliffs mark the ancient river edges.
The river's main tributary is the Waipa River, which has its confluence with the Waikato at Ngaruawahia.
The ancestral Waikato River flowed from an ancient lake (Lake Huka) in the centre of the North Island through deep gorges of welded ignimbrite and rhyolite, northward through the Hinuera Valley and Hauraki Basin into the Thames Estuary.
It is possible that the river flowed through the Waikato Basin about a million years ago before returning to its Hinuera course.
After the huge Oruanui eruption 27,000 years ago pumice was showered all over the North Island to a depth of 200m thick. A new lake was formed - Lake Taupo (some suggest Lake Taupo might have been formed by a massive meteorite hitting earth there, but the Oruanui eruption is the rationale normally adopted today).
The water built up in Lake Taupo until a new outlet was forced 120m above the present level near Waihora Bay.
Over the next few thousand years the bed of the river was raised by large amounts of eruption debris. Then the original blocked entry suddenly gave way-the lake level fell 75m as about 80 cubic kilometres of water and debris poured out in a catastrophic breakthrough flood causing the river to change course near Pairere. The water level dropped quickly and the river stayed in this new course through the Maungatautari gorge and Hamilton Basin.
Deposits show that the Waikato River was already in the Waikato Basin 21,800 years ago.
Today the cities and towns it passes, enroute to the water intake into Auckland Regional tap waters include: Taupo, Mangakino, Cambridge, Hamilton, Horotiu, Ngaruawahia, Huntly, Hampton Downs, Rangiriri (a cemetery containing the graves of the British military dead can be found at Rangiriri near the Waikato River), Meremere, Mercer, Pokeno -Tuakau and many other villages and marae.
There are also other villages or towns on streams/tributories or smaller rivers which flow into the Waikato River; such as towns of Otorohanga, Pirongia and Whatawhata alongside the Waipa River.
On its journey downstream it passes through 8 man-made power stations, at Aratiatia, Ohakuri, Atiamuri, Whakamaru, Maraetai, Waipapa, Arapuni and Karapiro. These all limit or negate the ability of the river to cleanse itself.
The large catchment area of the Waikato River is highly fertile farmland, so intensive agriculture is present. Agriculture today uses many poisons. Something as 'standard' as super phosphate is inclusive of poisons!
YOUR CHOICE --- YOUR HEALTH
The question remains.
AND IT IS FOR YOU TO CHOOSE if you should drink polluted river water, once it has been processed and treated in some manner?
Is the recent new science about the extreme dangers of the endocrine disruptors (e.g. hormones in treated sewerage and cadmium in super phosphate applied to Waikato soils) that scientist Theo Colburn warns of not enough?.