I sip coffee at the Dangerous Kitchen
While science guy gives me Te Waikoropupu 101
Which sweeps away the fog
So I see the imminent threat to Pupu Springs
If nitrate levels continue to rise
& dairy farmers dump tons & tons of nitrate fertiliser
& cows piss tons & tons of nitrate piss
Directly above the Arthur Marble Aquifer system
Which leaches down to the good guy stygofauna
Who hate nitrate – & I feel red lights flashing
& fear we’re sitting on a giant ticking toilet
& the scary, scary thing, is it takes 10 years
For the pollution to reach Te Waikoropupu
& we just don’t know what’s cooking down there!
‘Dangerous Kitchen;’ cafe & coffee bar in Takaka
‘Stygofauna;’ tiny creatures that live underwater in cave
& aquifer systems
‘Nitrate;’ if nitrate levels rise too high in the Arthur Marble Aquifer
They will kill the stygofauna which clean the water which eventually rises
At Te Waikoropupu Springs. At present, the nitrate level at Pupu Springs
Is 0.4 mg/l which is the maximum level Niwa considers safe.
Approximately 350 tonnes of Nitrate-N flowed into the aquifer & other Golden Bay waterways, from the effects of agricultural activity per year. (120 tonnes of Nitrate-N Flowed out of Te Waikoropupu last year.) This pollution is mostly from cows & the applied urea on which intensive dairy farming depends.