What goes into our stormwater catchpits can have an adverse effect on the plant and animal life living in our city’s waterways.
After a number of eels died in a Hamilton stream, Hamilton City Council is reminding residents to keep chemicals and contaminants out of the city’s stormwater network.
“The catchpits are designed to catch stormwater, and stormwater only.” says Nick Young, Stormwater Compliance Specialist for the Council’s City Waters Unit.”
“Flushing contaminants of any kind – such as cleaning or outdoor products containing chemicals – into the catchpits presents a danger to our waterways and aquatic life.”
Stormwater is the collection of rain which has soaked into the ground or run off roads, car parks, roofs and paved/sealed outdoor areas. The catchpits feed into streams and channels, and ultimately the Waikato River.
It is likely that the eels’ deaths were the result of contaminants entering the stormwater network, via the catchpits.
“This is a channel of water with no treatment, so any pollutants in the drains entering the pond from the network will have a negative effect in the channel and downstream,” says Mr Young.
“While it’s easy to forget about where things end up once they’ve disappeared down a catchpit grate, there is always a flow-on effect.
“We want to encourage the public to be mindful of this, and to be aware that pollutants can have deadly consequences for the species – like these eels – living within our city’s waterways.”
An embossed image of the Kokopu fish can be seen on the stormwater catchpits to help remind us that the water entering these discharges straight to our waterways.