Recently released Water Quality statistics show Lake Okareka with a slightly improved TLI reading and it being stable. As it is now three years since the septic tanks were removed an improvement was to be expected as this action (very expensive action for property owners) was estimated to remove 30% of the lake pollution. However we will never have a Clean Lake until there is land use change to the 600ha of pastoral land in the catchment which is contributing 70% of the pollution of the lake. It is interesting to note that the TLI targets for other lakes in the area are as follows:
Lake Tikitapu 2.7
Lake Okataina 2.6
Lake Tarawera 2.6
Lake Rotoma 2.3
Lake Okareka 3.0
We plan to ask the Regional Council to revisit the Okareka Action Plan that was put in place 10 years ago as in today’s world residents expectations are much different and I’m sure few of us are uncomfortable leaving a polluted lake to our children and grandchildren.
As you will see from Sandra’s report, Landcare Okareka have been very busy and the long awaited walkway from Boyes Beach to the DOC campground appears to be not too far away, but the red tape involved has been much more involved than anticipated and not helped by the restructuring of DOC.
The recent filming of a planting working bee at the pump station by the Country Calendar TV programme will be great publicity for the area and of course a feather in the cap for Sandra and Mike and their team. The programme is likely to go to air later in the month.
The Regional Council are now actively considering the options to upgrade the Outlet Pipes and alternatives such as a weir. The initial Engineers’ Report for this work dates back to 2008 but hopefully we will see some action shortly which should give much better control and reduce the erosion caused by the high lake level in recent years.
As always we welcome feedback from the community on anything Okareka and suggestions for our Newsletter and in particular old photos and history of the area.