Councillor Desley Simpson has driven a recent dredging project at Martyn Wilson Fields in Remuera.
Residents who live near the fields have been subjected to a rotting sewage-like smell which intensifies during the summer months emanating from a stormwater pond that was created seven years ago.
“Natural plantings around the pond were supposed to work as natural filtration for sedimentation, but increased levels of intensification along with aged stormwater infrastructure in the area has challenged the natural approach," says Councillor Simpson.
Simpson began an investigation into the issue following complaints raised by residents. “I asked for this to be looked into by Auckland Council’s Environmental Health and Healthy Waters teams. They established that the smell was due to anoxic sediment," she says.
The council first took the interim measure of keeping a higher level of water than normal in the pond to reduce the amount of sediment being exposed. After that didn’t work as well as anticipated, staff concluded that the long-term solution to the smell was to dredge the pond and remove the sediment.
Councillor Simpson said the difficulty was in finding a contractor with the capacity and ability to do this work.
“The appointed contractor has the only sludgy aquatic vacuuming machine in New Zealand and thankfully it’s available to help get rid of the smelly anoxic sediment at Martyn Wilson Fields. I am pleased to advise that dredging is finally underway.”
Moving forward, Auckland Council will monitor and look to de-silt the pond at least every three years to prevent these issues from reoccurring.