Eastland Group and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council met today to discuss the draft engineering report about issues at the Waihi hydro electricity scheme located at Lake Ruapapa on the Waihi River 26km north west of Wairoa.
The dam, built in 1986 and owned by Eastland Group since 1999, had its three sluice gates damaged during storms last year – as a result silt and other debris has been seeping into the surrounding river.
Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said the company would work closely with HBRC to develop a solution but “it won’t be a ‘quick fix’. Right now we’re focused on actions which should mitigate any adverse environmental impact. But long-term repair of the dam is complex and the dam’s design does not allow for easy remedial work. Unfortunately more silt is likely to be released in the meantime.”
He said the company and HBRC would develop a plan of action following a joint review of the engineering report, which was requested by HBRC following the issuing of an abatement notice that directed an open damaged sluice gate be closed to stop the discharge of sediment from the dam as a result silt and other debris is being carried downstream and into the river system.