This month, the Kopeopeo Canal Remediation Project is hosting a community open day, right on time to celebrate a significant marker point in progress of the clean-up.
Project manager Brendon Love says the timing for the open day is ideal as the project team and contractors have been hard at work dredging for almost exactly six months.
In addition, the dredge is close to crossing the state highway, which will also see a relocation of the water treatment equipment to the second containment site off Keepa Road in Whakatane.
The project is using a cutter suction dredge to remove contaminated sediments from the canal and transport it through a pipeline to one of two lined containment sites.
From there, the sediment in the geotextile bags is dewatered and remains in the geobags within lined cells to be capped with clean soil and then bioremediated at a later stage.
“We started dredging on January 22 and have learnt a lot along the way. We are getting validation testing results from sections of the canal behind the dredge and with exception of a few locations where we have had to repeat the dredging the results are coming back well below the dioxin remediation target.
“Compliance monitoring results from around the containment sites is also showing that the contaminated sediment is contained throughout the transfer process which is key requirement of the project.
“After the open day we’ll be moving much of the equipment such as the water treatment equipment and shaker screens over to the second containment site just off Keepa Road.”
Containment Site 1 on Kope Drain Road (just off SH35 outside Whakatane) will be open to the public for short tours on Saturday June 16.
“I am sure that there are quite a few members of the public out there who have driven past either the Kope Drain or Keepa Road sites and have wondered what is going on with all that machinery. So it is the perfect chance to find out! You can find out more about the open day on the website,” says Brendon.
Dredging will continue along the canal during the coming months and validation testing will be carried out behind each dredged section. At the end of the project, sediment will have been removed from 5.1km the canal, leaving the waterway in a healthier state for future generations.