Not meant as a general criticism. Auckland has lovely beaches. When they aren’t drowning in shit that is – Dirty water: Swimmers warned off beaches
Swimming has been banned at 10 Auckland beaches this summer because of worsening pollution from human and animal wastes.
Permanent signs declaring that the water is not safe for swimming went up at the start of summer at Laingholm and Wood Bay near Titirangi, the north and south lagoons at Piha, and at the Bethells Beach lagoon – all popular swimming spots for children too young to swim in the wild west coast surf.
Wastewater biologist Gemma Tolich Allen, the Manukau Harbour Restoration Society’s scientific adviser, said overflowing septic tanks and wet-weather “bypass” spills from the Mangere sewage treatment plant had been polluting the Manukau for decades.
The new water quality data comes the day after the Weekend Herald reported that raw sewage is being flushed into the Waitemata Harbour every time the city gets more than 5mm of rain.
The worst overflows in Sandringham spill more than 100 times a year “in the order of 1 million cubic metres” a year, equivalent to three days of throughput at the Mangere treatment plant.
This is a shameful look for our country’s biggest city. But then, much of the rest of the county is the same. We’re trashing vitally important resources – our water, our health, our heritage, and our “image”. How bad does it have to get before we act?