Lake Pupuke oil spill contained

Last Updated : 29 Jun 2016
Lake Pupuke.jpg
Lake Pupuke on the North Shore of Auckland.

A fuel spill on Lake Pupuke has now largely been contained.

The extent of the spill is yet to be determined, as Auckland Council’s pollution investigators continue to monitor the site.

The spill occurred on the night of 22 June when a tank containing diesel spilt into a stormwater drain. The stormwater drain’s interceptors onsite contained the spill, however heavy rainfall saw the system overflow, and the spill entered Lake Pupuke.

Staff were on site from 8am on Thursday 23 June, securing the spill using booms and absorbent pads. Council staff remained on site all of Thursday and Friday, and over the weekend.

Steve Pearce, Manager Compliance, says: "As of Tuesday (28 June) the fuel has largely dispersed thanks to heavy rain and water ripples. In some areas of Lake Pupuke, a sheen on the water remains, particularly around some edges.”

To care for affected birds, animals were transported to Ambury Regional Park in Mangere, Rachel Kelleher, Biodiversity Manager, says.

This was a joint effort by Auckland Council and the Waitematā District Health Board, with bird experts from Auckland Zoo, the council’s parks team and the Department of Conservation overseeing the operation.

Lake Pupuke staff with swans.jpg
Auckland Zoo's Amiria Aperahama and Auckland Council Regional Biodiversity Advisor Andrew Nelson are some of the staff caring for swans affected by a diesel spill at Lake Pupuke.

Advice for the public

"If any members of the public notice sick birds as a result of the diesel spill on Lake Pupuke, we urge the public not to approach them,” Kelleher says.

“Please do not approach the birds or attempt to capture them - you need to be very cautious of the birds’ welfare and your own safety, particularly near swans. It is also very important that the birds are not scared back into the water. This makes it very difficult to capture them, in order to provide them with the expert care they need.

“We know residents are concerned for these birds, as are we. We would ask the public to please avoid taking any birds home to wash them.

“Ambury Farm in Mangere is stabilising and washing affected wildlife. Once the birds are washed, they need time to recover and regain their waterproofing. If birds are released without regaining water proofing, all efforts are in vain. Rehabilitation is occurring at Auckland Zoo.

“If you see a bird at Lake Pupuke that requires attention please phone 09 301 0101 and report the location and description of the bird, as there is a team on hand available to respond.”

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