Bay of Plenty Regional Council held an open day for the Kopeopeo Canal Remediation Project yesterday, giving people a chance to learn about the project and see the trial of dredging as an alternative methodology for the project.
About 80 people attended, touring the site in small groups and talking to members of the project team about the trial.
“This open day was a great opportunity for the council to engage with the public,” said project manager Brendon Love.
“There has been considerable public interest in the Kopeopeo Canal project for many years and we welcomed the opportunity to share the ongoing project development with the whole community. Having so many people participate was really positive.”
The dredge and dewatering trial is underway to evaluate a proposed new extraction and transfer method to clean up the Kopeopeo Canal.
The project team is evaluating this alternative because community members raised concerns about the methodology originally proposed.
The consented method dewaters the canal before removing the sediment and transferring it to established containment sites by truck, causing community concern around dioxins being inadvertently spread during transfer and transport.
The council expects this new method to reduce effects and produce efficiencies for the project, and the trials should confirm this, Brendon said.
“The alternative method being trialed has three main components – a cutter suction dredge to suck up the sediment and water from the canal into a pipeline for transfer to the containment sites, a water treatment system to separate the water from the sediment at the containment site and a geotextile bag called a geotube, which provides a primary containment system for the sediment at the containment site.
“Key benefits of this methodology include the elimination of potential spillage of sediment during transfer and transport, and removal of the potential for dust to be generated on public roads, with the associated impact on air quality,” Brendon said.
The trial was set up last week and will be run over four days this week until Friday, October 2, weather-permitting.