Cosseys lake

Weedkiller runoff into Auckland’s water supply is bad, but 1080 poison is perfectly alright

The other day Maggie Barry gobbed off about 1080 being dumped all over the water catchment areas for Auckland in the Hunua Ranges.

She thought it was perfectly alright to dump poison into our water system.

Now we find out that the Council has been dumping weed killer intot he water and that the water has been essentially quarantined.

Two dams in the Hunua Ranges which supply about 20 per cent of Auckland’s water were closed for four months this year after traces of a toxic herbicide applied to nearby forestry blocks got into the dams’ supply lakes.

Last night, Watercare Services said there was no risk to public health.

Auckland Council was told of the incident, but both the council and Watercare Services kept it quiet from the public until a whistleblower contacted the Herald yesterday.

Watercare communications manager John Redwood said the public were not notified because “we were confident there was no risk of water from the lakes being drawn into the supply network at any time”.

After a forestry block on council land in the Cosseys, Wairoa and Mangatawhiri dam catchments was sprayed on May 12, Watercare detected traces of the herbicide metsulfuron-methyl in the Cosseys and Wairoa lakes.

Metsulfuron-methyl is a residual toxic herbicide used to kill broadleaf weeds and some annual grasses.

Watercare said the likely cause was run-off from surrounding blocks as a result of unexpected heavy rain two days after spraying. GPS tracking by helicopter confirmed spray was not applied to the lake areas.

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