Why stormwater systems are critical to our environment
Chemicals and other hazardous substances entering stormwater drains can have a devastating impact on our environment. Hazardous substances can:
- poison waterways
- reduce oxygen levels
- degrade native habitats.
What enters stormwater drains and waterways ends up at sea.
Wastewater, which is water used in flushing toilets and showering, is filtered and goes to a wastewater treatment plant. Stormwater on the other hand is not filtered or treated.
While a lot of people use hazardous substances, some businesses have larger amounts and stronger concentrations onsite.
This increases the risk of damage to our environment should a hazardous substance enter stormwater drains.
See What you should keep out of the stormwater drain for more information.
What is an Industrial and Trade Activity (ITA)
An ITA is any commercial business that produces, uses or stores hazardous substances.
Environmentally hazardous substances can be:
- cooking oil and food waste at a bakery
- paint and petrol at a mechanic
- chemicals and other by-products at a factory or a manufacturing plant.
These commercial businesses should have a plan in place to properly store and dispose hazardous substances.
The plan must ensure these substances do not accidentally run into stormwater drains, streams and coastal waters.
It is also important that everyone onsite knows what to do if a substance is spilled.
Find out if your business is classified as an ITA site
The Auckland Unitary Plan (Operative in Part) lists a number of commercial activities classified as industrial and trade activity.
Each activity is assigned a risk level of low, moderate or high. This depends on the type of substances associated with the activity and the area of land the activity occurs in.
For example, a small local bakery is classified as low risk whereas a large factory producing bread for supermarkets is high risk.
Read the attached document to find out if your business is classified as an ITA site.