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Waihi Dam Update

Tuesday February 16, 2016

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has been advised work will get underway tomorrow to resolve the discharge of sediment from the Waihi Dam into the Waiau River.

The Eastland Group dam has been discharging silt into the Waiau River since before Christmas 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 Eastland Group has developed an action plan to resolve the issue, which HBRC staff and dam experts Damwatch have reviewed.

He says it is expected to take around three weeks work to enable the gate to be closed and the sediment discharge to cease.

Mr Maxwell says not only does the work involve clearing the sediment from under the sluice gate to enable it to close, but also the development of a second structure downstream of the dam to trap as much sediment as possible from spilling out before it gets into the Waiau River. A similar structure put in place a fortnight ago has been capturing a lot of sediment and a second is needed while the work is completed.

Meanwhile Iain Maxwell says a thorough investigation is underway into how the situation occurred and what effect it is having on the community and the environment. A decision on whether Eastland Group will be prosecuted will be made once all the facts are known and the investigation is completed.

6 April 2016

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