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Update on landslip at Wairakei site

Update on landslip at Wairakei site

Contact Energy has now completed preliminary tests to understand the impact of the land slip near the Wairakei geothermal power station yesterday on the local waterways.

The discolouration in the Waikato River seen yesterday is the result of sediment flowing from the slip face into the river, and is composed of soil, ash and pumice.

Independent testing of water samples by GNS taken near the base of the slip have confirmed the water is geothermal in nature and a similar composition to the geothermal water that is discharged to the Waikato River from the Wairakei power station. Contact is awaiting further results of samples taken downstream of the slip and will provide updates as soon as these are received.

The company said it was working with local authorities to understand how the slip happened and would develop a remediation plan for the site.

“We acknowledge the mauri of the water bodies in the area, especially the Waikato River given its significance to the community,” says John Clark, Contact Energy’s Head of Generation Geothermal Operations.

“Our focus is the integrity of the waterways, the health and safety of the community and keeping people informed of the situation.”

Mr Clark said heavy rainfall forecast over the coming days might affect the site and cause further sediment to flow into the area. The company is actively working to minimise this possibility.


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