Archived content: This media release was accurate on the date of publication. 


Water sample results for a recent aerial 1080 operation in Russell Forest have come back clear, with no detectable 1080 in the tested waterways after 39 hours.

Date:  29 October 2018

Following the pest control water samples were taken at 15 and 39 hours after the operation and following 10 mm of rain over 24 hours, on 15 October.

Water was sampled at ten sites over the three periods, two within the treatment area and eight outside.  Of the 30 samples tested, only one sample taken 15 hours post operation had detectable 1080, which was measured at 0.1 part per billion (ppb), well below the Ministry of Health’s precautionary drinking water standard of 2 ppb. When this water was retested at 39 hours it had no detectable 1080. No 1080 was detected in drinking water supplies.

DOC Northern North Island Operations Director Sue Reed Thomas says 1080 breaks down very quickly in water and these results support that.

“We can be confident that the water was not contaminated following the pest control operation. The tiny detection in the first sample taken from the middle of the aerial drop is the equivalent of finding a single gram of 1080 in a 25 m swimming pool – the same size as the competition indoor pool in Whangarei,” says Sue Reed Thomas.

“We know people have concerns about water quality after a 1080 operation and we wanted to provide independent testing to show the water is safe and 1080 is not present in the awa in Russell Forest.”

Aerial 1080 was applied to Russell Forest on Friday 28 September to help restore bird life and regenerate forest destroyed by pests.

DOC routinely tests water with independent laboratories following 1080 operations to monitor water quality and provide information to the community about water safety. Water samples are collected straight after 1080 application when there is the highest possibility of detecting contamination.

Laboratory analysis can detect 1080 in water at concentrations as low as 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) and the maximum amount of 1080 residue allowed in drinking water by the Ministry of Health’s is 2.0 ppb. This has never been breached.

A further four samples taken from Waikare streams were tested to provide information for local iwi. All the samples for Waikare streams taken on the same day as the aerial 1080 operation were clear, with no detectable 1080.

Pest number results from the aerial 1080 operations in Russell Forest and Cape Brett are due in the coming weeks.



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