Health warning remains after chemical spill in Napier estuary


The acid spill occurred on Friday and came from Galvanising Hawke’s Bay.

A health warning continues after a Hawke’s Bay business spilt 100 litres of hydrochloric acid into a storm water system that flows into Ahuriri Estuary, in Napier

The spill, which came from Galvanising Hawke’s Bay, occurred on Friday in the Thames St area, which then entered the storm water system and into the Tyne St drain.

The Napier City Council used vacuum trucks which extracted 40,000 litres of acid-contaminated water, during the night.

* Street evacuated, health warning issued after business spills 100 litres of hydrochloric acid into storm water system
* Hawke’s Bay companies fined for illegal discharge into stream
* Batteries, acid spills in early morning two-truck crash

Hydrochloric acid can cause severe chemical burns if it comes into contact with skin.

A spokesperson from Galvanising Hawke’s Bay declined to comment to Stuff on the incident.

Medical Officer of Health Dr Nicholas Jones continued to advise that people avoid water contact in the area and anyone suffering any related health-effects should contact Healthline or see their GP.

A council spokesperson said following the spill, the environmental solutions team, along with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, stayed on-site monitoring the spill gate that had been deployed.


The hydrochloric acid spill entered the storm waters system.

The team worked into the early hours of the morning carrying out fish-kill assessments in the channel leading from the spill gate out onto the mud flats towards Embankment Bridge.

On-field water quality assessments were carried out, working back towards the scene.

The Council said “findings were distressing” for staff who had been working hard to improve the water quality in the estuary, through environmental monitoring, rehabilitation planning and education.

The environmental solutions team worked during the weekend to assist with recovery, ascertain the assimilative capability (the ability of estuary to carry waste material without adverse effects on the environment), and continued to gather evidence for what will be an ongoing investigation.

The council said the findings of the investigation would not be publicly available, but would be discussed with the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Hawke’s Bay District Health board on when the signs should be removed near Pandora Pond.

NCC’s findings would also be used by its enforcement decisions group to determine the level of enforcement which “may be carried out in relation to this event” and its environmental consequences.


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