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Thinking DIY, think fish
December 2014
DIY products impact on fish life

Kapiti Coasters are being made aware that the products and chemicals you use to get things looking spic and span this summer could run right down the roadside gutter and into the rivers or sea where our aquatic creatures live.
Every year around the summer months Wellington Regional Council's Environmental Protection team attends pollution incidents that could have been easily avoided, resulting from do-it-yourself activities.
These incidents come at a time when we take to Wellington's beaches and swimming spots to cool off and when lower river flows and warmer water temperatures mean that the city's waterways and coasts are already under pressure.
"Detergents, paint and oils are some of the most noticeable DIY products spilled, and are responsible for damaging aquatic life and reducing water quality on our rivers and coast.
"It's distressing for us all when a careless incident causes contamination because there are other ways for us to deal with our waste. It takes just one thoughtless act to spoil our swimming water and destroy whole colonies of living things," says the regional council's environmental spokesperson Councillor Chris Laidlaw.
So if you are thinking of cleaning the car or house or touching up a little paintwork and doing some DYI this summer spare a thought for the fish.

  • Leave small leftovers of paint and solvents to dry rather than pouring them down the drain. Some paint retailers also accept your unused/ unwanted paint.
  • Clean your car in a place where washwater will not run into the roadside gutter, such as on the lawn - ideally without carwash solutions. Or, take it to a commercial car wash where all runoff is treated. Clean paint brushes in the laundry sink, Take household chemicals, waste oil etc. to the specific sections at official landfills.
  • Fasten paint/ chemical containers to avert leaks and spills.
  • Make sure you have absorbent materials handy to contain any spills
  • Dispose of any waste with your household rubbish. Don't hose it away.
  • Call the Environment Hotline, 0800 496 734 if you see a problem.

    See more tips at www.gw.govt.nz/environmental-pollution/

     
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  • Other stories in this section:
    KC News: the Internet Newspaper for the Kapiti Coast