Dredging to remove sand build up at the Murray Mouth has been interrupted, following a mechanical breakdown with the dredger.
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources’ Manager Water Resource Operations, Jarrod Eaton, said the breakdown occurred late last week and a replacement engine from Brisbane is currently being freighted to the site.
“Repairs will be completed as soon as possible and it is expected the dredger will be operational again within the next 10 days,” Mr Eaton said.
“The dredging operation has been successful in removing about 35,000 cubic meters of sand from the Tauwitchere channel so far, which is a good result.
“Unfortunately, the operation will be on hold for a short period of time while repairs are undertaken. However, water releases from the barrages were increased last week, which will help to minimize the volume of sand entering the mouth.”
Mr Eaton said a second dredger is also being mobilized to start dredging within the next 10 days, in accordance with the original plans.
He said when both dredgers were in operation, the mouth would be closed to boating traffic for up to three weeks.
“Both dredges will initially operate in the shallow area adjacent to the mouth before working back up Goolwa and Tauwitchere channels,” he said.
“The current dredging plan indicates that operations will have moved away from the mouth over the upcoming Easter period, which should allow normal boating activities during the holiday period.
“However, subject to progress and ongoing monitoring of the works, it is possible that dredgers may be active in the mouth area during this period.”
Mr Eaton said the work will have a long-term benefit to Coorong.