Have ammoniacal nitrogen levels in Waikawa Stream dropped?

This item from July 2017 is interesting. While the water in our stream may still be dirty and too often have high E. Coli levels, some pollutants are dropping (maybe) — Farmers ‘heartened’ by water quality improvements:

The second tour was along the Waikawa Stream in the Horowhenua district, ending at the Waikawa estuary. Farmers discovered the Waikawa stream contained many rare and endangered native fish species and valued whitebait habitat. Changes to farming practices over recent years have contributed to improvements of the in-stream health.…

Ammoniacal nitrogen levels in [a Waikawa farmer’s] local stream are dropping.

“It was quite heartening to hear that. It shows we are making a difference and encourages us to keep going so that next time we do a tour it’ll be better again. We want to leave the environment better than what it was when we first came here.”

Other feedback from farmers who took part said they were amazed to see the vast array of living organisms in the streams.

Farmers were reminded that improving water quality didn’t just rest on their shoulders, it takes a group effort; requiring the support of other agricultural sectors, industry and urban communities, and it will take time.

Note too our many rare and endangered native fish species and valued whitebait habitat.

Did you know that the stream at the footbridge has two sources? One branch starts up round North Manakau Road, while the other comes from the hills at South Manakau, runs past The Greenery and Quarter Acre cafe and the two join around Whakahoro Road. See more details at Red river blues.

The thing is, we recently received, and are still analysing, a spreadsheet of water testing results from Horizons Regional Council. In the column for ammoniacal nitrogen, the measured level at 16 September 2015 was 0.01 grams per cubic metre. As at 21 June 2017 it was 0.10. Those are the start and end dates on the spreadsheet. A graph showing levels between those dates does not have a discernable downward trend.

Ammoniacal nitrogen levels in the Waikawa Stream, per Horizons Regional Council monitoring.
Ammoniacal nitrogen levels in the Waikawa Stream, per Horizons Regional Council monitoring.

So, what’s up with that then?

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