A big part of protecting our harbour is stopping untreated pollutants from getting into the harbour and streams through the stormwater system.
We introduced a Stormwater Bylaw in August 2015 to ban the tipping, spilling and washing of common contaminants into Porirua’s storm drains.
These common household pollutants are now banned from the stormwater system:
Cleaning products: Tip washing water either down the sink (which goes to the wastewater system) or onto your lawn or garden. Take any unneeded cleaning products to the landfill in a sealed container.
Water-blasting waste: Water run-off can go onto your garden or lawn. Paint flakes should be collected and put in your household rubbish. Older houses may have lead-based paint, so always collect and dispose of flakes carefully.
Solvents and liquid fuels: Take to the landfill in sealed containers (a small charge applies).
Liquid paint: Water-based paint can be cleaned from brushes in your laundry sink. For solvents used to clean oil-based paints from brushes, leave the solids to settle out and then reuse the solvents. Take any excess solvents to the landfill in closed containers for safe disposal (a small charge applies).
Leftover paint: Small amounts of paint can be left to dry and disposed of with your household rubbish. Check with your local paint store about products to harden waste paint for easy disposal. Paint tins that are reasonably clean can go into your recycling. Leftover paint can be taken to the landfill or Resene Colorshop in Porirua for recycling, reuse or safe disposal. Dulux Trade Centres in Lower Hutt and Wellington City also have a Paint Take-Back service. A small charge may apply, depending on the brand, type and amount of paint.
Motor oil, grease and radiator coolant: Take to the landfill in a sealed container (a small charge may apply).
Cooking oil: Wash small amounts down the sink and put larger amounts into the garden/compost or take it to the landfill.
Cement wash or slurry, or concrete cutting waste: This should be channelled onto your garden. Small amounts can be tipped out to harden and then disposed of with your household rubbish. Take large amounts to the landfill.
Pesticides and herbicides: Limit use of these chemicals on your land or garden. Avoid spraying near drains and waterways. These are harmful to fish, birds and stream and harbour life
Any other chemicals labelled as dangerous: Always take in sealed containers to the landfill and discuss with the staff on duty.
Tyres: Take these to the landfill (a small charge applies).
Run-off from washing vehicles contains pollutants including detergents, dirt, oil and heavy metals that are harmful to the environment. Nearly half of Porirua households wash their vehicles on driveways. With at least 58,000 cars across the Porirua Harbour catchment (Census 2013 estimate), the run-off from even some of these vehicles going into stormwater drains is damaging.
Report pollution incidents immediately to the Greater Wellington Regional Council 24-hour Environment Hotline: phone 0800 496 734.
Adopt a drain. Locate the nearest stormwater drain to your house and help to keep it clear of leaves and rubbish so that rainwater can move freely into it in heavy rain.
Recycle and bag light items like plastic and paper together to weigh them down on windy days, this is especially for your kerbside rubbish bin .
Pick up any loose rubbish and report any dumped rubbish immediately: phone (04) 237 5089.
Bury or put dog droppings in the rubbish. Droppings on paths, in gutters or stormwater drains carry many germs that once washed into our waterways and harbour cause serious health risks.
There are more than 72 stormwater outfalls around Porirua Harbour, and many more discharging to our streams. Sending stormwater to the Wastewater Treatment Plant is not practical, due to the huge amount of rainwater that would need to be captured and pumped for treatment.
Simple behaviour changes by residents and ratepayers are the least costly way to reduce harbour pollution from common household activities and chemical use.
Getting involved in local environmental groups or programmes is a great way to help keep Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour clean and the City beautiful. Local groups include the following:
Other ways you can get involved are: