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Published: 2012-05-25 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council investigators have today successfully identified the source of a significant commercial detergent spill into the Waikato River between Hamilton and Ngaruawahia.

The spill led to a large number of “icebergs” of foam around a square metre in size forming.

The council was first alerted to the foam being in the river around 8.30am. Staff were mobilized to determine the extent of the blobs of foam and where they might have come from. Reports of foam were received from as far north as Ngaruawahia.

The source was subsequently tracked down promptly to a business premises whose name and location aren’t being identified at this stage for legal reasons. It’s unclear exactly how much detergent and foam got into the river via the property’s stormwater system.

"We’re not expecting any significant environmental effects from this particular discharge,” said compliance and education manager Rob Dragten.

“We’ve identified the components of the detergent involved and are satisfied none pose a risk in this instance.

“However, the council will be following up with the owners of the property where the spill occurred to ensure there’s no repeat of this incident.

“We’ll continue to fully investigate the circumstances of the spill to determine whether any party faces any legal consequences.

“While we’re confident the foam isn’t an ongoing environmental threat we’ll also carry out tests on samples as a precaution,” said Mr Dragten.