Archive for December, 2017

Meola Aquifer – how will it handle intensification?

December 27th, 2017

A study conducted for Auckland City’s integrated catchment study looked at two large aquifers on the isthmus, comparing current with “maximum probable 2050 land use” in Meola and Onehunga. This picture shows the  “paleo ridges” and “paleo valleys” of pre-volcanic Waitemata sandstone, along which the groundwater flows. It seems Meola Creek and its former tributaries closely follow the valleys of the old landscape.

The study concluded that although spare capacity existed in the aquifers to accommodate additional stormwater disposal there was a major unresolved issue is to find practical ways to capture and inject large volumes of stormwater generated by short, high intensity storms.  It noted that additional flooding would occur in high rainfall years.   See ICS Groundwater Behaviour and Assessment

This poses a few questions such as:

  • what is the significance of ‘spare capacity’ in the aquifer?  Does it mean that groundwater supplies have been reduced?
  • what methods would Auckland Council (AC) grant itself consents for, in order to reduce flooding and recharge the aquifer?
  • how would AC guarantee no reduction of groundwater quality as it tries to deal with further urban development and intensification?
  • what stormwater treatment methods can AC show us now as functional examples?

Water Quality in Auckland Council Ten-year Budget 2018-2028

December 22nd, 2017

CALL TO ACTION:  – please support the water quality initiatives, and the Water Quality targeted rate during the consultation for the “Auckland Plan” and “10 Year Budget”  28 February- 28 March.  At that time, submissions can be made online at We plan to publish a simple draft submission here to help people do this.

Meola Creek near Lyon Ave during downpour  – 14 November 2017, 10.22 am and 10.29am.

What is proposed?

Mayor Phil Goff has outlined specifics of the water quality initiatives planned in the Ten Year budget.  Take a look  here:  See details of the projects on pages 8-9.  Stormwater treatment and separating sewage from stormwater are keys to improving harbour water quality and beaches.  These will be funded by a “regional Water Quality targeted rate” which can only be spent on stormwater. The “ring fenced” nature of this targeted rate is critical as it means it cannot be diverted to other priorities.

What is the problem? 

Above are 2 photos taken 7 minutes apart  showing the speed of sediment (and sewage) laden water  flows through Meola creek to Waitemata Harbour. STEPS has posted several videos and photos of polluted stormwater on this page and on facebook pages including Stop sewage overflows in Auckland. Please like and follow the sewage overflows page to show your support.

Auckland Mayor’s announcement on water

December 1st, 2017

On 30 November Auckland’s Mayor announced a proposed targeted levy to clean up harbour pollution.  STEPS supports stormwater treatment and expects benefits for Meola Creek and other streams as well as the harbours. Hear Mayor Goff’s interview   

This levy is transparent and we believe that stormwater treatment and separation from sewage are essential for a healthy future Auckland.  STEPS recently outlined the case for this work here. We ask all Aucklanders to think of future generations and vote to start the cleanup now. The project will be considered in February when the Auckland Council Long Term Plan consultation takes place.

MtAlbertInc contains more info.