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Published: 2002-03-07 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is warning keen competitors in a radio hole digging competition to have fun but look after their environment.

Today’s Waikato Times had a front page picture showing the word “Waikato” and the radio station’s logo dyed green in groundwater, carved two metres deep over a large area of Perry’s Aggregates site at Horotiu. Resource Officer Rob Dragten said the competitors had wisely used a dye that was specifically designed as a water tracer. The substance was not toxic when diluted and disappeared in about 12 hours so its use was permitted in the Waikato.

But he warned that using the wrong substance to colour water could cause problems in the environment, put people’s water supplies at risk and cause ecological harm to surface water when the groundwater came to the surface. The radio station, The Generator, is offering 100 dozen bottles of beer for the biggest hole in the Waikato.

“There are rules about discharging substances to water, designed to protect people and the environment. If people want to discharge anything into water it’s a good idea to ask us for advice so they don’t put the environment at risk.”

People also needed to take care when digging large holes not to dig close to any waterways or streams, and avoid getting too close to structures, houses or bridges.

“You also need to make sure the earth can’t spill into water if it rains, and that you make the site safe for other people. And when the competition’s over, fill the holes in again.”