Sediment leaks into harbour, first time this year GPC says
THE Gladstone Ports Corporation will investigate how dirty water leaked out of a Western Basin dredge bund and into Gladstone Harbour on Friday morning.
About 9am harbour users noticed a visible dark patch of water leaking into the harbour from pipes connected to the bund wall.
Gladstone Ports Corporation said the spill was caused after one of the wooden boards placed on the external weir box, or outfall, started leaking sediment water.
Contractor Van Oord Dredging International had been dredging high sediment material at the time.
The dredging contractor is required, as part of its licence conditions, to ensure water exiting the outfall is of a quality of less than 100mg of sediment per litre of water.
To ensure the water quality is sufficient, the contractor relies on weir boxes to control the flow of water and allow for a settlement time for the sediment to settle.
A GPC spokesman said at times wind conditions and other factors interfered with the settlement time.
The spokesman also said the incident was "rare" and it was the first occurrence this year.
The spokesman said that the overall water quality readings show the harbour remained within all required levels. The results of GPC's internal investigation will be passed onto the State Government's Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.