At 9am this morning Tauranga City Council stopped work on the Southern Pipeline harbour crossing because mud used for drilling seeped through loose ground and reached the low tide harbour surface on the Memorial Park side.
Cleanup is currently underway to collect the mud. It is being suctioned into a vacuum tanker and taken off site.
There is a chance that some mud will be visible on the harbour with the incoming tide. The situation is being monitored.
Most of the mud has been collected and removed offsite, and some has washed into the harbour where we expect it will naturally disperse. Bay of Plenty Regional Council have been kept informed. The cause of the mud leak is being investigated. A team of drilling experts, including an independent international expert in the USA, review the project’s progress on a daily basis. Drilling is now on hold pending their assessment and advice.