A call to action on a community Facebook page has resulted in fast action by Auckland Council after diesel pollution was reported in Papakura.
Local resident Ben Watson took to Papakura - Spread The News to voice his frustration at diesel and oil being dumped in the Croskery Rd Culvert, a tributary to Slippery Creek, in the South Auckland suburb.
Watson shared a video of the pollution and said it had been happening for about three months.
"I have phoned the council four or five times. They act interested but nothing happens even though they know the source of the company polluting the stream," he wrote.
Watson said Auckland Council had placed booms in the waterway about a month ago, but they washed away.
He said the diesel was allegedly coming from a wreckers close by.
"It has run every day for three to four months, some days heavier than others ... and everything is dying. I live in a house close by and it stinks of diesel and the council don't seem to be doing anything about it," he said.
"At the moment the smell is so strong it is burning our eyes. You can also see all the eels are dying. We've had literally hundreds of eels die here. You get about three a day floating upside down."
Watson said he felt helpless and had given up on calling the council.
"You would think that within three months they could stop all the petrol coming down a stream that leads out to the Manukau Harbour," he said.
After Watson posted on Facebook two days ago, the video has been shared almost 1000 times with many people calling on the council to fix the problem.
Mid-morning on Monday, Watson posted an update saying the council had "arrived in force".
"This morning the council has turned up in force, luckily because as they turned up oil started pouring into the creek. It's heavier than it's ever been. It's so black there are eels floating," he said,
"They have pollution trucks coming – so thank you everyone for sharing this video and making it go viral, something is happening now."
Auckland Council director of regulatory services Craig Hobbs said council compliance officers have been in contact with a company in Papakura that has been allegedly dumping oil in the Slippery Creek since 2017.
"The company has previously been served abatement notices in 2017 for a series of non-compliant activities. They received an abatement notice and fine for discharging oil in August 2018.
"A further alleged spill in May 2019 is currently under investigation," he said.
"Today council compliance response officers were alerted to a further alleged oil spill in the stream. When they arrived in the area they found a 44 gallon drum of oil tipped on its side over a drain on the corner of Croskery Rd and Markedo Pl.
"At this stage we do not believe the oil drum is related to the ongoing issues with this site.
"Upon arrival at the scene council staff immediately initiated a clean-up using a specialist spill kit. Booms have been placed in the stream, with peat in between to help contain the spill.
"A pollution spill truck with specialist suction equipment is also being sent to the scene."
Hobbs said businesses that dump any form of chemical in drains is illegal and can carry a maximum penalty of $300,000 ($600,000 for corporate bodies) and up to two years in prison.
• Anyone who sees a person or company illegally dumping chemicals should call the council's pollution hotline on 09 377 3107.