Saturday, October 29, 2016


Serial trougher and lefty Steve Lowndes has found himself another post and like any other turtle finding itself on top of a post, is lost.

"When you're driving down a country road and you see a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle. You know he didn't get up there by himself. He doesn't belong there; You wonder who put him there; he can't get anything done while he's up there; and you just want to help the poor thing down."

Steve, recently elected as an ECAN councillor jumped at the chance to be noticed, in a news item on Lake Forsyth or  now being reinstated as Te Wairewa and the ongoing problems of toxic alge.
Sadly there is no "Big Dairy" to blame and AFAIK I dont think there is more than a house cow in the catchment of the lake.The truth is that there are probably significantly fewer farm animals grazing the short stream catchments than there were when I first visited the area over sixty years ago and  warnings aplenty in the fifties as to how dogs and livestock were at risk of death after drinking the water in the otherwise quite beautiful little body of water.

In the early days of european invasion of the area, the lake was navigable up to Kinloch from the sea but the inexorable march of shingle northwards from the Rakaia River mouth, it will never be feasable to reopen the lake to sea flushing that would end the toxicity in a flash.
"The Riviera", "Birdlings Flat" or as it will eventually become again Te Mata Hapuka, where Steve lives,  what he does with his nutrient laden remnant from what I presume is a septic system but a dollar to a knob of goat poo it is not taken away from where it sits on that expanding shingle bank.
A geographical feature that also contributes to the water health status of Lake Ellesmere or Te Waihora to the west. An historic estuary lagoon from The Rakaia and Waimakariri rivers, Ellesmere needs to be released to the sea on a regular basis that only drains the water building up from  inflows and leads to no sea flushing, without such intervention Ellesmere woud eventually reach well towards the City.

By far the greatest risk from effluent entry to Forsyth will come from increasingly expanding human settlement around Little River/Cooptown, where there are twice as many permanent residents in that district than the areas settled over the hill around Akaroa Harbour where  a "sh^t fight" is ongoing as to where the treated effluent will be disposed of from Akaroa/Takamatua. The latest brain fart, pumping it to the relatively low density populated  Robinsons Bay flats.
Duvauchelle, a rapidly growing part of the Harbour at its head, has a system that seperates solids from liquids with the solids being trucked over the hill to Bromley in the Eastern City Suburbs and the liquids treated and pumped into the Harbour where the sea lettuce is doing well.
Running into Forsyth is the output of all the septics and composting toilets of humans, yes the very same who in part sent Steve to the city where he is now in position to make a difference.
Bah humbug, Mr Lowndes, just fence the bloody lake off and use it as a research opportunity for Lincoln and Canterbury Universities.
Any other options I am aware of will cost billions and will still be doomed to fail.

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