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Diesel pollution in frog pond – urgent advice needed

Home Forums SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION, ENERGY and WATER CONSERVATION Water Conservation Diesel pollution in frog pond – urgent advice needed

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #255576
    gamgeegamgee
    Member

    Hi all, I have an emergency on my hands, so I’d be most grateful for any advice anyone can give me.

    I live on the edge of a small town in central west NSW; a creek runs through my property. The creek is home to all sorts of wildlife, including frogs, yabbies, several bird species, tortoises etc.

    On this creek we have just one upstream neighbour, who unfortunately is extremely toxic in just about every way I can think of. He builds without council permission; lets his numerous aggressive german sherpherds run loose on the street. etc – but his most astounding act so far was to completely fill in the portion of the creek that runs through his property with coal mine tailings. This horrified us, so we wrote a formal letter of complaint to the council when he did this (a few months ago now), followed up with multiple phone calls. If it makes any difference, our council is Mid-Western Regional council. The council’s effective action on this matter has so far been zero – they make noises about how the environment officer has been out to speak to the guy … but then the environment officer left his job without passing this issue on to anyone.

    However, today I’ve discovered a significant slick of diesel on the frog pond that the creek runs through. The diesel is clearly coming from upstream. The question is, what to do about the diesel right now??

    I’ve used several bottles to skim off what I can (amounting to about a cup of diesel so far); i’ve packed the pond’s outlet with sand, to try to filter out the diesel.

    What else can I do?

    And how can I get the council to DO something about this?

    The frogs are out calling at the moment, while the reeds they spawned in last year are now surrounded in a centimetre of diesel. 🙁

    #506137
    AnjaAnja
    Member

    Oh I wish I knew the answer but all I can say is that I hope you get this guy sorted out really quickly. What an absolute A-hole of man. Bad enough that he contaminates his own patch of the world, but to so blatantly damage so much 🙁 🙁 🙁

    #506138
    SteveSteve
    Keymaster

    Hi gamgee, here in Queensland I’d be going to the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM). I tried to find its equivalent in NSW and I think it would be the Office of Environment and Heritage.

    I found this web page of theirs on reporting pollution:

    http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/pollution/index.htm

    #506139
    gamgeegamgee
    Member

    Thanks guys.

    Steve, I had a look at the website you linked to, and under the heading of water they say that:

    “pollution of […] rivers, creeks, streams and lakes” are the responsibility of local councils … which sadly brings me back to square one.

    So frustrating and upsetting.

    Update: We’ve now put a plank of wood across the pond to trap the rest of the liquid (I thought it was diesel but my partner reckons it’s motor oil or transmission fluid – whatever, the effect is no doubt equally devastating to frogs).

    And, further investigation has revealed a patch of something on the floor of the pond which appears to be (on first inspection) a generous pile of snail pellets. We’re waiting for a cloud of silt to settle before we scoop them out.

    So, it looks like an absolutely intentional act of vandalism, maybe because the frogs have been so noisy with the recent rain. Funny how what’s music to one person’s ears can drive another person to ecocide.

    We’ve taken photos and video. Our next steps will be:

    1. Installation of a strong spot light with motion sensor

    2. Installation of a surveillance camera

    3. Check the neighbour’s garbage bin next week on garbage night (maybe we’ll find a snail pellet box to match the snail pellets)

    4. Submit any evidence we can get to council

    5. Expect no action other than what we undertake ourselves.

    Any further suggestions welcome.

    Thanks,

    Samantha

    #506140

    I’d even try the emergency services, they may have something that can soak it up. They do it if there are fuel spills on roads, so I’d assume they’d have something or at least have contact with relevant authorities. Maybe worth a try as it’s Sunday & not many other places would be open.

    How awful having a neighbour with such little regard for anything. 🙁

    #506141

    Just read here that you can use wool to absorb the oil. Would you have a spare fleece? Or friends nearby who would have some? It can be wrung out & used again too.

    They found that wool can absorb roughly ten times its

    weight in oil without picking up water, and can also be wrung

    and reused up to ten or twelve times.

    Thus a kilogram of wool can be used to remove at least 100

    kilograms of oil, they claim.

    #506142
    busylizziebusylizzie
    Participant

    If not an EPA problem and council not doing anything what about trying the nearest Water catchment authority, thats if the creek is running into some major waterway? Also try contacting Landcare and see what their thoughts are as well, they might be able to put you in touch with someone, anyone that can stop the dirtbag from polluting the waterway. Good luck.

    Lizzie

    #506143
    Hummer HumbugHummer
    Keymaster

    gamgee post=321306 wrote:

    Steve, I had a look at the website you linked to, and under the heading of water they say that:

    “pollution of […] rivers, creeks, streams and lakes” are the responsibility of local councils … which sadly brings me back to square one.

    So frustrating and upsetting.

    Hi Samantha, maybe if you are not getting any help from council, you will need to get some bigger guns on your side to help.

    If you can tell some of these other authorities that your council don’t seem to be acting on this matter… maybe a call from them will get the ball rolling at your local level.

    Good luck with it!

    #506144
    SteveSteve
    Keymaster

    I agree with Humbug. You tried the council, now it’s time to go over their heads.

    Or even a suggestion when speaking to the council about how interested the media would be in a story like this. I’m sure they wouldn’t want bad press…

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