A news update from the Mei Te Vai Ki Te Vai Project Management Unit (PMU) additional water monitoring equipment would be installed throughout the Muri area in January, including in the lagoon.
“Touching or interfering with the monitoring equipment can affect the results, and mean we have to do testing again.
“So to be safe, please stay away from monitoring equipment, which will be clearly marked.”
The update said drilling progress had been slower than expected due to difficult ground conditions, but the drilling team was working hard to have the wells in place by the end of January.
“This month we will be able to do our first tests of groundwater movement in some of the monitoring wells, before the wells are sampled for nutrients.”
Detailed plans had been developed for the use of sediment removed from the mouth of the Aremango Stream (near Pacific Resort) in the lagoon, the update added.
“Removing excess sediment in this area will help increase flushing of water through the lagoon.
“We have been looking at whether we can use this sediment along eroded areas of the Muri Lagoon foreshore. If designed properly, we think this could help prevent the sediment from being washed away with currents. This design work will support the Environmental Impact Assessment application we are preparing to lodge with the NES shortly.”
The update said riparian planting in the Aremango Stream area would begin in February next year, once the National Environmental Service (NES) gave its approval to remove sediment from the lagoon.
“Riparian planting helps to reduce sediments and nutrients entering the streams and ending up in the lagoon and has been highlighted as a great way to get the community involved in helping to restore Muri Lagoon.
“We’re working with local leaders to gather support for a planting event. If this event is confirmed we’ll publicise it once all the necessary approvals are in place. We are still aiming to complete the sediment work in the low tourism season (mid-January to February 2018).
Meanwhile, a workshop to be held at the USP Centre tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss two possible options for wastewater management, will also discuss why wastewater management might be needed around the rest of Rarotonga in future.
“We expect the problems seen at Muri will not be limited to Muri. Seaweed growth is already evident elsewhere,” the update said.