The sediment dredging operations – part of the Kopeopeo Canal Remediation Project – started earlier this week, according to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council’s latest update.
Acting Project Manager, Ken Tarboton, said that the milestone was significant for the team and for the wider community.
“This week the contractor started removing contaminated sediment from the main canal and moving it to a contained area where it can be kept safely and eventually remediated,” Mr Tarboton said.
“This is a huge milestone – to finally start removing contaminated sediment from the canal after many years of hard work by a lot of people and leave such a positive legacy for future generations.”
In stages, the project will remove, safely store and bioremediate up to 40,000m³ of sediment from the canal using cutter-suction dredge methodology. The canal was contaminated between the 1950s and late 1980s as a result of stormwater discharges from a former sawmill, which treated timber using pentachlorophenol (PCP).
The estimated cost of the project is $15.5 million and is equally funded by the Ministry for the Environment through the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund (CSRF) and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.