Ports corporation says bund wall in harbour isn't leaking

GLADSTONE Ports Corporation has reiterated the reclamation area or bund wall in the Gladstone harbour is not leaking, contrary to media reports.

The ABC 7pm News on Friday reported the bund wall was leaking, and had images of water discharging out of the bund wall.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ports corporation said on June 14 a polishing pond weir box situated on the inside of the bund wall was not sealing properly and was fixed over the weekend of June 15-16.

The ABC report and subsequent images on Friday, June 21 were of a normal regulated discharge that happened every day in the Western Basin, the statement read.

"To clarify, dredge soil is transported by the dredgers as a slurry of water and spoil, the spoil being retained in the reclamation and the water returned to the environment through the licensed discharge point.

"As the dredge soil is deposited, the heavier and larger materials are immediately deposited, with the finer materials remaining suspended in the water.

"The reclamation is divided into three distinct areas - the main reclamation, the siltation pond and the outlet channel.

"The system is designed so that as the water travels through each area, a percentage of the finer materials settles out of suspension.

"Discharge water quality is achieved through decanting the clean upper layer of water from each area, so that by the time the water reaches the discharge point, the licensed discharge criteria is met.

"This process is what the ABC filmed on Friday afternoon, not a leaking bund, but a regulated discharge."

The ports corporation said a claim by commercial fisherman Trevor Falzon that the water discharged was toxic was incorrect.

All controlled water releases from the reclamation area were monitored for water quality, it said.

"The extensive independent environmental water quality monitoring program for the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project shows no visible or scientific signs of any negative impact from changes in water quality to date.

"The Water Quality Monitoring Program is overseen by the Dredge Technical Reference Panel appointed by the Federal Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Population and Water."

Topics:  dredging environment gladstone harbour gladstone ports corporation

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