Waterfall to undergo repair after seven-month 'drought'
IT'S run dry for more than seven months but Gladstone Ports Corporation says the iconic East Shores waterfall will undergo repair work within the next two weeks.
The human-made structure has been the centre point of Gladstone's foreshore since it opened as the Rotary Waterfall in March 1985, although its responsibility now lies with GPC.
However, since December the waterfall has been bone dry after a hole was identified in a pipe and the water was switched off.
The Observer first published a story on the dry waterfall on January 4 with a statement from GPC chief executive officer Peter O'Sullivan saying "GPC has been carefully considering a number of options to get the waterfall back online".
More than six months later it appears those options have finally been explored with work due to start in weeks.
Mr O'Sullivan said GPC had carefully considered a number of options to restore the Auckland Hill waterfall, including lining the existing pipes.
"Investigations revealed lining the pipe was not an option due to the nature of the original pipework," he said.
"GPC is now pursuing another method which involves drilling a new pipeline from the top of Auckland Hill down to the bottom and connecting back into the pump house."
When running, the waterfall provides a stunning backdrop to the East Shores precinct and compliments the Feast on East markets when visited by cruise ship passengers.
But two cruise ship visits and three school holidays later, one of Gladstone's most popular landmarks remains dry.
GPC defended the half-year delay in restoring the waterfall to its former glory, saying it had been a "gradual process due to the required coordination between GPC and Gladstone Regional Council, contractors and East Shores events".
"The option of drilling an entirely new pipeline will take time to implement," Mr O'Sullivan said.
"A number of alternatives were considered to see if a less intrusive and more financially viable option was available, but unfortunately a new pipe is required."