Big clean-up of Mill Creek under way

Published: 10 January 2022

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Contractors ACL have begun a major clean-up of the banks and stream bed of Mill Creek, from Argyle Park to Braebrook.

The work is expected to take until the end of March to complete.

Starting from the Farm Road end of Argyle Park on 5 January, ACL staff have been using weedeaters, big forks and rakes to remove unwanted grass and weeds from the bank and in the creek.

Council Infrastructure Services Group Manager Neil McCann said the clean-up crew was making its way along the length of the creek as part of the operation. Weeds pulled from the creek were left to dry on the bank before being picked up to dispose of.

“The crew have reported plenty of positive comments from Argyle Park users about how good the creek is looking and it appears that a number of canines are happier padding in the cleared areas of the creek.”

Water in Mill Creek is mostly stockwater, though the creek also conveys stormwater as needed.

The clean-up crew say they have seen a lot of cockabullies and some small fish. Watercress is also in the creek, though it has flowered and is past its best for picking.

Mr McCann said regular maintenance will keep the creek in good condition.

“The creek is also an important feature of Argyle Park, which is really popular with ratepayers, whether they are walking, biking, running or exercising the dog.”

Mill Creek underwent major stabilisation and enhancement works between 2009 and 2017, when retaining walls and rock banks were created along its length through Ashburton town. The banks were also planted.

The waterway has had a long history in the Ashburton township and surrounds, and served several functions (as a water source for use at a flour mill and stockwater race).  The creek has been managed for flood control and drainage since the late 1970s.

There were issues with flood and erosion of the banks before the stabilisation and enhancement work, which was designed to contain a 50-year flood.

The creek remains a part of the rural stockwater and urban stormwater network.

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