Help Enlisted to Find Source of Phosphate (via Rural Life)

A project involving the North Otago Sustainable Land Management (NOSLaM) group and hydrologists from the University of Otago due to kick off next month, will hopefully provide answers to Waiareka Creek catchment’s increasing phosphate levels, which in turn may help meet water quality regulations.


NOSLaM met with farmers, landowners and stakeholders in the catchment earlier this month to provide information around the work that will be carried out and also to ask for their support and cooperation.  NOSLaM Chair, Peter Mitchell, at the meeting advised that water sampling will be carried out at 70 sites and soil sampling at 19 sites.


According to Dr Sarah Mager, Otago University’s geography department hydrologist, the project, funded by North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC), ‘will evaluate whether organic or inorganic phosphorus deposits in the riverbed and banks are potential sources of phosphorus in the waterways’.


NOSLaM Steering Committee member, Lyndon Strang, said “If the area’s natural phosphorus levels were found to be high, NOSLaM could take findings to the Otago Regional Council and make a case for adjusting permitted levels under the new water quality standards.”


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