Check, Clean, Dry
To keep our waterways clean and free of pest species, we work closely with Ministry for Primary Industries, Fish and Game, DOC and Horizons Regional Council.
Originally, the ‘Check, Clean Dry’ method was created to prevent the spread of didymo, or ‘rock snot’ from waterway to waterway. Didymo is not currently present in waterways in the Wellington region, but can spread via a single drop of water, so it is crucial that we keep our waterways free of it.
Using the Check, Clean, Dry method can also help to control the spread of other known pest species such as hornwort, parrot’s feather and koi carp. Freshwater pest species are damaging to our freshwater ecosystems because they:
Koi carp pose the highest ecological risk of all pest fish in New Zealand, and they are here in our region.
Aquatic pest plants like parrot’s feather are spread between waterways by human activity and lead to sediment build up that can cause flooding.
These pests can only be spread from waterway to waterway by human activity. Once they are established, they can be impossible to remove, so it is our responsibility to make sure we prevent this from happening. If you don’t want to clean your gear between every waterway, every time, you will need to limit your activity to one waterway.
The Check, Clean Dry method is the most effective way of preventing freshwater pests from spreading between waterways and is recommended across New Zealand by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The method includes:
Most items can be cleaned using the standard method above, but some have specific requirements. Check out these additional details on cleaning specific items.
There is a guide on the MPI website for event organisers, and groups who deal with cleaning large amounts of gear. This is to help ensure that you, and the participants in your event, don’t inadvertently spread freshwater pest species.
Check out the guidelines for sporting event organisers.
Greater Wellington can provide Check, Clean, Dry advocates to events at no cost. If you are organising an event in the Wellington region and would like our advocates to attend, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The only reason that a freshwater pest species will appear in a new waterway is if it has been brought there by human activity. However, factors like high nutrient levels can affect the growth rate of pests once they are introduced.
The quality of a waterway cannot cause these species to appear on their own, but will be significantly affected by their presence.
If you have questions about the Check, Clean, Dry method, email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To order Check, Clean, Dry brochures and guides, email email@example.com.