Victoria Park pond to be drained, cleaned, and re-filled
Victoria Park’s pond has an important job to do. It acts as a trap for sediment flowing in with stormwater, helping to filter the incoming water before it joins the Patea River. Years of silt and sediment have been slowly building up since the pond was last excavated and it’s now time for the pond’s regular clean-out to extend its life.
From 12 February, Stratford District Council will drain the pond, allow the bed to dry to reduce the chance of silt and sediment going downstream, and then excavate the pond to remove the sludge before the pond is refilled. The whole project will take around two months, depending on the weather.
Will we be able to use the walking tracks around the pond?
The pond will be fenced off while the work is taking place. You’ll still be able to use walking tracks around the pond, but we may need to restrict access through the southern side of the track during the excavation stage to make room for machinery to operate safely. Please respect the fence boundary and take note of any signage in the area.
What will happen to the silt and sediment?
Once any rubbish has been removed, the silt and sediment will be spread onto land as a permitted activity. We’ve had samples of the silt analysed, and it’s safe for this use. The field will later be re-planted.
What will you do with the fish?
Fish and eels living in the pond can freely move out of the outlet while the pond is being drained. As eels enjoy a muddy environment, we’ll use nets to catch any remaining eels before safely transporting them downstream. Invasive fish species will be eradicated, which was a decision made in discussions with Ngāti Ruanui.
How will you stop sludge going downstream?
We’ll slowly drain and dry the pond over a period of weeks to stop adverse effects downstream. While the excavation is taking place, inflowing water will be diverted to bypass the pond. Silt and sediment filtering will also be in place at the pond outlet and gate valve.
If you have any questions about this project, please email StratfordDC@Stratford.govt.nz or give us a call on 06 765 6099.