Environment, Piha Opinion

You should read before signing !

5 Comments 12 February 2016

I was offered a petition to sign last Monday

Petition in PihaLast Monday while at the ‘Love our Lagoons’ event I was approached by a member of the Piha Ratepayers & Residents group to sign a petition entitled ‘Save our unique Lagoon – Soul’.

Of course I’d like to sign that but first I asked for the ‘wording’ of the petition which wasn’t on the signature document.  After reading it I said  “No I can’t sign that, sorry “!

You see, although I’d like all pollution in our streams and lagoons to disappear overnight there are some methodologies being suggested I can’t agree with and one of them was in the petition.

In the petition:

  • The Problem:  Our Lagoon is seriously polluted – agreed!
  • The Solution  (Note: singular – Ed) :   “. . . periodically excavate to provide the most comprehensive approach to reducing contamination levels of the Piha Lagoon.”  This is where I just can’t agree.

Why I can’t sign

  • Firstly this is ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff
  • The Piha Lagoon has failed every test this season but the levels of pollution have, except for one spike, been generally lower than last season.  Yup, anyone tell you that?
  • So if the level of pollution is going up and down, up and down, and up and down, where are the pollutants going?
  • Periodically excavating’ is going to do what?   And for how long?   I’d suggest it’s going to cost a fortune and take the urgency out of putting the ambulance at the top of the cliff.

My solutions (please note I have more than one because there is not one solution)

  1. Any septic system, old or new, that fails gets a ‘pink sticker‘.   As I asked on Monday “If your car fails a warrant are you given 3 or 6 months to fix it?”   No !  It’s off the road till it’s fixed!
  2. A pink sticker gives you three months to fix it.  Tough?  I don’t care.  Why should our waterways be polluted constantly because some sewage systems are failing?   The answer:  “Money”.
  3. In my opinion money is the biggest stumbling block to ‘fixing’ septic treatments so Council should lend the owners the money to be repaid through their rates with a small interest rate – not hard really.   I’ve said this for a very long time.
  4. Council must take more proactive action with the council owned amenities.  It’s no good ‘reacting’ to failures – they must be prevented.  I’m not convinced they’re doing this.

Piha Rates Assesment Piha Rates Assesment Left: Two sections off the back of our latest Rates Assessment/Invoice

Home targeted rate: Properties that received financial help to heat or insulate their homes.

Rural Sewage targeted rate: on-site waste management systems that are scheduled to be inspected and/or pumped out by the council.  Note: ‘inspected and/or pumped’.  What do they mean and/or?  It’s supposed to be ‘and’.

Note: Although the petition was presented by a member of the Piha R&R and water quality group small print on the bottom of the document says  “Supported by the Piha Ratepayers & Residents Group” which suggests it is a petition by an individual not the Piha Ratepayers &Residents – just saying!

Your Comments

5 Comments so far

  1. Penny says:

    At our last pump out in Oratia, the contractor said the concrete lid was inadequate (too small, and had gaps that weren’t sealed – it came with the house and was well over 30 year old and had never been picked up before. We were told we needed to commission a new one. We were given a ticket and told we had a time frame to complete the work and they followed up to make sure it was done. Great. Happy with that. It just seems obvious it’s the owners responsibilty to have a well functioning septic tank. In the same way farmers are required to keep live stock out of the streams . So council definitely give out tickets if it’s not up to scratch. Not sure why this isn’t consistent in other areas? So agree on your pink ticket system. And agree there should be financial loans to help people do so.

  2. Brenda says:

    Isn’t it time the Council put all of the houses at Piha on a reticulated system to an enlarged sewerage treatment plant at Stedfast Park with the treated water being filtered through the bush? How hard can that be?

  3. Stephen via Facebook says:

    A comment from Stephen on Facebook “So they want to allow sea water into the lagoon of a native fresh water eel?”

  4. Sandra Coney says:

    Hi Bobbie, the Local Board argued for and got, a pilot of a system to loan to people to fix faulty septic tanks and pay back through their rates, the same as the Retrofit your homes. The pilot is in the Waitakere Ranges Local Board area and Waiheke. This is being consulted on right now through the Annual Budget consultation. It would be good if a lot of people from Piha supported this to make sure it happens.
    Sandra Coney
    Chair Waitakere Ranges Local Board

  5. Martin says:

    What I see of the septic systems in and around Piha and I have dealt with a few, Is that some are in need of maintenance, in some cases as simple as a new drainage field if a std gravity system.
    Recently I have arranged new main drains to septic tanks that had been broken for many years. Septic systems are sized, many are old and now have many more people living in these homes where as they were built as Baches.
    Gully traps at the house needs to collect all the waste water, No stormwater going into septic tank ( as I found at a house yesterday.) Broken soil pipes fixed and not allowed to leak into ground ( common fault).
    Inspection chambers cleared of roots and lids sealed correctly.
    Pumped system also need better inspections some Companies that charge you to do this are not doing their job properly, I have seen inspection sheets filled in as all Sound and Checked but are clearly not, Common fault dripper lines bent, tees broken, dripper lines blocked, pumps not working well. Filters not cleaned or refitted to housing. YES.!
    If some of these things were sorted it my get a lot better very quickly. If you think there is something wrong or need a (wof) for your property contact a Experienced Registered Drainlayer They are living and working in Piha or surrounding areas, its not that hard.

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