Downstream Defenders Fighting the Good Fight
Newly installed stormwater separators have proven to be a valuable addition to the district’s infrastructure system.
The separators, or Downstream Defenders as they are known by producer Hynds, catch pollutants in our stormwater network prior to it reaching the lake. We are then able to remove these pollutants with sucker trucks and dispose of them appropriately at the Broadlands Road landfill.
Asset manager stormwater and solid waste Brent Aitken said the devices have proven very successful. “We now have eight Downstream Defenders throughout the district: at the outlets near the Two Mile Bay boat ramp, Hawai Street, Taharepa Road, Ruapehu Street, Tongariro Street, and near the Hole in One in Taupō, as well as the Kohineheke Reserve outlet and Turanga Place outlet in Turangi,” he said.
“The Defenders catch all the material that gets washed into our stormwater system by rainwater – things like cigarette butts and plastic and floating litter, but also brake dust and rubber particles from vehicles, so this is pretty nasty stuff. We empty each Defender three times a year, and on average every time we empty them we are seeing about a tonne of this material taken from each device, so from all eight devices that is around 24 tonnes each year that no longer reaches our lake, and that is a fantastic result.”
Mr Aitken said that the Defenders were part of an ongoing effort to improve the district’s stormwater infrastructure, and that a further nine devices were scheduled to be installed in the future.
“The Downstream Defenders have nothing projecting above ground so are not taking up space on our reserves and are virtually invisible to the community. They may be out of sight and out of mind but they do a great job at keeping all those pollutants from getting into the lake, particularly when we have heavy rains.”