Lake Pupuke gets all-clear after diesel spill

Swans at Lake Pupuke are covered in diesel after a diesel spill. Photo / RICHARD HURSTHOUSE
Swans at Lake Pupuke are covered in diesel after a diesel spill. Photo / RICHARD HURSTHOUSE

A freshwater lake behind North Shore Hospital, in Auckland, has been reopened to fishing after a diesel spill last month.

Fish & Game New Zealand confirmed today Lake Pupuke was to be reopened to the public after samples taken by Auckland Council officials came back clear.

A statement released by the group - which manages sports fishing and hunting resources around the country - said results received last week confirmed the level of fuel contamination was below the limit of detection.

The oil slick on the water of North Shore's Lake Pupuke. Photo / NICK ABPLANALP
The oil slick on the water of North Shore's Lake Pupuke. Photo / NICK ABPLANALP

Waikato fisheries manager Dr Adam Daniel, who is also the spokesman for Fish & Game Auckland, said: "We're pleased to see this unique urban fishery back in operation - a lake which Fish & Game keeps stocked with trout."

The diesel spill was reported just over three weeks ago after members of the public noticed a strong smell coming from the lake. A number of swans were also found covered in diesel. The Council said affected birds were taken to Ambury Regional Park, in Mangere, before being taken to the Auckland Zoo for rehabilitation.

It was later determined the diesel had come from the North Shore Hospital grounds.

A spokesman said at the time that initial investigations showed the spill had come from a diesel fuel tank used to power the hospital's generators during a power outage.

The leak had happened during torrential rain which had overwhelmed the hospital's stormwater filtration systems.

Daniel said small pockets of "visible sheen" may still show up on the lake and members of the public were urged to avoid contact with any visible floating diesel.

"It's expected that weather and natural processes will continue to disperse and break down any remaining residue."

- NZ Herald

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