Finance

The Defense Force is taking steps to combat wastewater pollution at the naval base.

The Defense Force says it has installed a special filter system at its Auckland naval base because toxic chemicals used two decades ago continue to enter the wastewater.

Devon Port Naval Base.

An investigation at Devon Port in 2019 showed that the Defense Force had to do something about the PFAS discharge, which was non-compliant.
Image: RNZ

Devon Port Base installed special filters last November to deal with PFAS chemicals, which are now the historic use of banned firefighting foam.

PFAS is a threat per trillion parts, do not biodegrade and do not bio-magnify the food chain.

The PFAS fluorine foam was used by the defense for firefighter training until 2002, contaminating the Nagataranga Bay, a habitat for endangered birds, along with the C Safety Training Squadron. Fish levels were low in Vitemata Harbor.

“PFAS continues to emerge from steel, concrete and asphalt surfaces,” Defense said.

“Remains have also been found in the soil.

“Strong waves and torrential rains carry PFAS from groundwater into the site’s stormwater system and from there to the water treatment system.”

He said that PFAS is no longer using foam.

Training with them is prohibited, although it is prohibited. Recently, there was a breach at an oil refinery in the North.

An investigation at Devon Port in 2019 showed that the Defense Force had to do something about the PFAS discharge, which was non-compliant.

Problems with the old treatment system “increase the accumulation of PFAS”, a report said in late 2020.

“The NZDF has committed significant resources from 2019 to the launch of the new filter for the temporary storage of intermittent water and subsequent transfer to Cam West.”

The defense says the new granular activated carbon filter fixes the leaks.

PFAS sticks to pieces of carbon. As water flows from the system.

As far as pollution is concerned at its other bases.Revealing the land reassessment report released to RNZ, the defense says it is complying with health and safety, and environmental, legislation and regulations.

The report estimated 28 million for partial repairs to 21 sites.

Devon Port scored about 400 for actual or potential contamination, far ahead of any other base and zero against many other sites.

The report says the NZDF should improve how it assesses the risks of pollution.

But the defense said its investigative and reporting methods were “objective.”

They use the Official Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL) to rank sites for further investigation based on risk.

“Where the rating … indicates the need for reform, then that work will begin,” the defense said in a statement Friday.

If it threatens to contaminate a base, it will be considered.

Pollution was mostly decades old, and current methods and arrangements were “different, higher quality.”

The 15 2 billion 15-year state upgrade addresses defense priorities for cleanup. Some contain toxic lead. In many of its homes, it is trying to deal with lead pollution even better within the limits of its firing range.

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