September update: Christchurch West Melton Zone Delivery Lead

Christchurch West Melton Zone Delivery Lead Ruth Sarson

Christchurch West Melton Zone Delivery Lead Ruth Sarson

Hear from Christchurch West Melton Zone Delivery Lead Ruth Sarson, who’s updating us on pollen and pollution this spring. 

Spring has rolled around and as the weather warms up people are getting out and about.

Spring also brings with it a large amount of pollen, which often gets mistaken for pollution on streets and in waterways. I thought it would be a good time to help you identify pollen, and what it means for our biodiversity.

Pollen not a pollutant

Pollen blows from plants and trees, settling on top of waterways or water flowing down drains. Depending on wind or tide action, it often ends up being concentrated in areas of streams, rivers, and lakes, making it look like paint or chemical pollution. Colours can vary but yellow pollen tends to be common in the Christchurch West Melton area.

Although it can sometimes look unsightly, rest assured that it’s not a pollutant.

While pollen can be troublesome for those who suffer hayfever, it causes no environmental harm and is not hazardous to birds or fish.

Pollen has flowed on top of water along the drain and has settled, looking like chemical or paint residue.

Pollen has flowed on top of water along the drain and has settled, looking like chemical or paint residue.

Calling it in

Every incident of pollution reported to us is investigated by our incident response team. Staff are sent to the location of the incident to investigate what’s causing it.

We encourage people to call in incidents that they think might be causing environmental harm but during the spring season, we’re asking that people are aware of what pollen looks like and considers whether this is what they’re seeing.

How to report an incident

If you see something other than pollen in our waterways or drains, and are concerned about its effect on the environment, you can report it by calling us on 0800 765 588 (24 hours/7 days) or use the Snap Send Solve app on your mobile phone.

It’s important to provide good information to help us understand what the pollutant is or might be, and where it is occurring. Have good address details of the incident on hand and provide images if possible.

Washing pollen from cars

With pollen comes car washing. It’s important to wash your car on the grass verge so the grass filters out the pollutants and they don’t end up in our stormwater drains. You could also use a professional and sustainable car wash if that’s available nearby.

I hope you are enjoying the warmer weather.

Nga mihi, Ruth.