29 Sep 2011

Council plans to allow higher nitrogen levels in Hurunui

7:51 pm on 29 September 2011

A Canterbury water committee member is disappointed the regional council is planning to allow nitrogen levels to increase in the Hurunui River.

A main contributor to nitrate levels is discharge from dairy farms.

The Hurunui-Waiau water committee recently submitted a recommendation for an area water plan to the Canterbury regional council calling for nitrate levels to stay the same or be reduced.

But in its draft plan to be released on Friday the council has allowed for a 20% increase.

Committee member Tony Hawker says that poses a huge environmental risk and could lead to a number of problems, including toxic algae.

Mr Hawker says because the committee's view is only a recommendation, the regional council is allowed to ignore it.