A man-made Hastings lake could be filled in as part of a $2 million Hastings District Council plan to better manage its industrial stormwater.

The amount of risk that Lowe's Lake posed to the region's drinking water was the subject of heated debate during 2019 local body elections.

The lake is part of the Heretaunga unconfined aquifer and is within the Frimley bore source protection zone. The district council-owned lake at 15 Hazelwood St is within 1km of 13 bores used for food processing, irrigation and drinking water supplies.

Concerns were raised earlier this year that nothing had been done after a June 2018 report to the Works and Services Committee identified the lake as a "potential risk to the Heretaunga Plains aquifer".


The lake also previously tested for high levels of E. Coli.

On Friday, Hastings District Council said that an independent Tonkin and Taylor report found there is very low risk to the Frimley bore field from Lowe's Lake.

But a spokesperson said that both HDC and Hawke's Bay Regional Council agreed that the way stormwater has been managed in industrial areas was "no longer appropriate" in achieving the expected environmental outcomes.

Both councils agreed changes need to be made to regional stormwater rules, the spokesperson said.

A multi-pronged strategy which combines stormwater treatment with a tighter catchment management framework is proposed.

Filling in the lake is one of many proposed changes.

Other ideas include a focus of "on property controls" in the industrial catchment which currently has stormwater flow into the lake. Tightening of rules around industrial activity is also part of this.

Adding stormwater treatment devices at the end of pipes to contain and remove contaminants such as spills, road runoff and overland flows which may enter the water.


Hastings District Council will decide on Tuesday whether to agree to the proposed approach or continue with the current system.

A budget of $2m has been proposed for the district council to carry out the work.