Hawke’s Bay Regional Council says it is pleased the Eastland Group has regained control of the Waihi Dam, which has been discharging silt into the Waiau River since before Christmas.
The discharge began after a sluice gate was damaged in a storm late last year. HBRC issued an abatement notice on Christmas Eve and January 6th requiring the gate to be closed but the damage to the gate is preventing it being fully closed.
HBRC Group Manager Resource Management Iain Maxwell says it has been advised that Eastland Group has completed the repairs to the gates and all three sluice gates are now closed. The reservoir is now filling and once full, power generation will begin again. The abatement notice was lifted by agreement this week.
“The closure of the sluice gates means the sediment discharge down the river has stopped, however there is still a large amount of sediment that needs to move through the river system,” says Mr Maxwell.
He says HBRC will soon start discussions with the Eastland Group around the future management of the dam to ensure this situation doesn’t happen again.
A thorough investigation continues into how the situation occurred and what effect it is having on the community and the environment. A decision on whether any party will be prosecuted will be made once all the facts are known and the investigation is completed.
19 April 2016
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