The Gladstone Ports Corporation makes an announcement to reassure the Gladstone and wider community that the reclamation area or bund wall in the Gladstone harbour is not leaking.
The ABC television 7pm News on Friday 21 June reported the bund wall was leaking with images of water discharging out of the bund wall – this is incorrect. On Friday 14 June, a polishing pond weir box situated on the inside of the bund wall was not sealing properly and was fixed over the weekend of the 15 and 16 June.
The ABC report and subsequent images on Friday 21 June were of a normal regulated discharge that happens every day in the Western Basin.
To clarify, dredge soil is transported by the dredgers as a slurry of water and spoil, the spoil being retained in the reclamation and the water returned to the environment through the licensed discharge point.
As the dredge soil is deposited, the heavier and larger materials are immediately deposited, with the finer materials remaining suspended in the water. The reclamation is divided into three distinct areas, the main reclamation, the ‘siltation pond’ and the ‘outlet channel.’ The system is designed so that as the water travels through each area a percentage of the finer materials settle’s out of suspension.
Discharge water quality is achieved through decanting the clean upper layer of water from each area so that by the time the water reaches the discharge point, the licensed discharge criteria is met. This process is what the ABC filmed on Friday afternoon, not a leaking bund, but a regulated discharge.
The claim by commercial fisherman Trevor Falzon that the water discharged is toxic is incorrect. All controlled water releases from the reclamation area are monitored for water quality. The extensive independent environmental water quality monitoring program for the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project (WBDDP) shows no visible or scientific signs of any negative impact from changes in water quality to date.
The Water Quality Monitoring Program is overseen by the Dredge Technical Reference Panel appointed by the Federal Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Population and Water.
Source: westernbasinportdevelopment, June 25, 2013