Our beautiful Piha Lagoon has been seriously polluted with health threatening pathogens , chemicals and toxic algae for more years than we all care to remember. For the last two summers it has been closed by the Auckland Council as a health hazard. Pollution is caused by poor public and private sewerage management and stagnant water trapped by sand at the Lagoon entrance preventing tidal flow over summer.
Piha Community’s RAtepayers & Residents Association has worked with Auckland Council for years on cleaning up our Lagoon. Progress has been frustratingly slow but over the last three years professional independent research, investigation and testing confirms the two things that must be done to fix the pollution.
STOP THE POLLUTION SOURCE – dysfunctional septic tanks and systems.
KEEP THE LAGOON WATER FLOWING – natural tidal flushing
On the first point, we are gradually making progress on reducing pollution by upgrading our septic and waste water systems, renewing dysfunctional septic tanks and improving public and commercial toilets, effluent fields etc. This a long-term project – 30 years so far. It still has a long way to go.
On the second point, we now know that fixing septic tanks alone will not keep our Lagoon pollution free. Natural pollution from birds, nitrogen/phosphorous runoff and water reticulation running down the valley all end up in the Lagoon. Just like a large swimming pool our Lagoon needs water to be circulating and replaced with clean water. Fortunately, we have the sea to do this function twice a day. This happens naturally in the winter. But occasionally in the summer sand at the entrance stops flow, stagnates the lagoon water and sometimes nature needs a hand to clear the sand to let the sea do its work.
In summary, we have identified the problem. We know what to do. There is urgency on improving waste water pollution. We must get started now to be able to remove sand from the entrance when needed over summer months. We do not want another summer of discontent
We have solid community support with 300 signatures demanding the return of a healthy swimmable Lagoon. Our iconic Piha Lagoon urgently needs all of our combined strengths. Getting the job done is now our focus.
Piha Rate Payers and Residents Association, June 1 2017