Yellow sludge - just nature doing it's thing

  • Published Date 11 Sep 2015

The yellow sludge you see on top of the water or lining the shores could well be a sign that plants are feeling spring in the air.

Wind pollination or is the choice of many plants in New Zealand including pines and most grasses. These plants produce enormous quantities of light, dry pollen grains that can be carried on the wind. Only a small amount of this pollen hits the spot, the majority goes to waste and this is what can be seen forming gloopy clumps and foamy slime around water or fine yellow dust on your clean car or laundry.

 It can be alarming but it's perfectly normal.

Each year at this time Greater Wellington Regional Council's 24 hour Environmental Hotline gets a number of reports from people who have mistaken large pollen deposits for pollution, but staff are quite okay with that.

"We'd rather have observant people and a few cases of mistaken identity than not hear from people when they think there might be a problem. We have had contamination incidents that could easily be confused and we want to hear about any potential incidents as soon as possible" says Council's Manager Environment Regulation Alistair Cross.

 The Environment Hotline phone 0800 496 734, is a confidential twenty four hour service. Your contact details will be requested so staff can gather more information if needed.












Thick deposits of pollen can sometimes accumulate at the waters edge.









Updated April 29, 2022 at 10:36 AM

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