Street evacuated, health warning issued after business spills 100 litres of hydrochloric acid into storm water system

100 litres of hydrochloric acid has spilt in Napier, causing a street to be evacuated and a health warning for swimmers.

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100 litres of hydrochloric acid has spilt in Napier, causing a street to be evacuated and a health warning for swimmers.

A Napier street was evacuated and a health warning issued after a Hawke’s Bay business spilt 100 litres of hydrochloric acid into a storm water system that flows into Ahuriri Estuary.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council issued the warning on social media after the spill on Friday, in the Thames St area, which has then entered the storm water system and into the Tyne St drain.

Signs have been erected to warn the public to stay out of the water at the estuary, until further notice.

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

Napier City Council said Thames St was closed and was being evacuated, following the spill by Galvanising Hawke’s Bay. The cordon has since been lifted.

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The Regional Council’s pollution response team, NCC’s environmental solutions team, City Services, Fire and Emergency and Beard’s Environmental are on site and the public has been asked to avoid the area.

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

The spill comes after swimmers were told to steer clear of Napier’s Pandora Pond, again, after a contaminated overflow from a wastewater pipe was discovered.

Thames St has been evacuated and people are being asked to avoid the area.

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Thames St has been evacuated and people are being asked to avoid the area.

Napier City Council advised people not to swim in the pond until 4.30pm on Sunday afternoon in case it has been contaminated by an overflow from the Pandora industrial area on Thursday.

It was discovered at 3.40pm by council staff carrying out a routine check on the Mersey St wastewater pump station. Staff cleared the blockage in the wastewater pipe underneath Mersey St, and removed 40,000 litres of potentially contaminated water, to be transported to the wastewater treatment plant.

This water came from a number of industries including tanneries, meat processing and rendering.

Napier City Council staff discovered the overflow on Thursday.

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Napier City Council staff discovered the overflow on Thursday.

Council staff took samples upstream and downstream of the discharge, as it was unclear If it had made it into the stormwater system, and travelled as far as Te Whanganui-a-Orotū (Ahuriri Estuary).

It is unclear at this stage what the blockage was.

Tangata whenua were informed of the incident, along with the HB Regional Council, HBDHB and the Ahuriri Estuary Protection Society.

Investigations into the cause and significance of the incident were ongoing.