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Recent paint pollution could be deadly to Kaikorai Stream, the Otago Regional Council (ORC) says.

And it is not the first time.

Stormwater from hundreds of houses in the area feeds into the stormwater system, which in turn drains into Kaikorai Stream. This makes it difficult to track down where the paint is coming from.

ORC environmental monitoring and operations director Scott MacLean said paint was reported in the Kaikorai Stream at a similar time last year.

‘‘Most drains end up leading to the sea, whether it’s directly to the ocean via the stormwater system or has been treated at the wastewater plant first.

‘‘Either way, paint products should never be put down a drain,’’ he said.’’

‘‘We are working closely with the Dunedin City Council to isolate where the paint is coming from because we need to stop this happening.’’

Paint in waterways poisons fish and plants and also affects the coastal environment.

The Kaikorai Stream feeds into the lagoon at Waldronville and then into the ocean, which means the impact of paint or other pollutants in city streams is wide-reaching.

The ORC encourages people to report any pollution to its pollution hotline on 0800 800 033 as soon as they see it, so staff can investigate.


This paint was also in the river approximately three weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon. The stream was brilliant red. I took photos but did not know who to call.