They started at Meola Reef, and were shown Meola Creek (he noted there were signs of sewage ingress there). Thye were advised that Meola Creek is is fed from underground gulleys and rivers, some of which start up round Three Kings. He observed that the catchment for those underground waters is many and varied – St Lukes, Sandringham Road, homes, businesses (some of which will have long gone). They were shown Bore Hole 7 – which is some 500 metres from the bottom of the Three Kings Quarry – and he noted they had been shown Bore Hole 6 which was accessible and which appeared to be much closer to the quarry itself.
Judge Smith expressed concern over their findings that at or close to Big King Reserve appeared to be contaminants stored on site by Auckland Council, at a small excavated area. (Discussion later revealed that this was leased land used previously by Parks Staff of Auckland City Council. Judge Smith was concerned to have noted what appeared to be leachates at that site, and that the floor of scoria would be permeable.
The site visit was shown the de-watering bore. The Judge noted that this was at RL –5. He asserted that he did not accept there was low permeability in the scoria around this bore. He expressed interest in the adjacent water treatment plant which appears to be unused. In his opinion it could be used to clean up the water, before returning it to the aquifer….
He noted that there were several quarry faces – some basalt, some scoria. He also noted that the Three Kings Quarry appears to have a dust supression systme in place – he noted the presence of sprinkler. He reported that he and commissioners did visit some local properties. Saw some dust.
They also went to Puketutu where they observed typical fill loads being received and processed. They saw an XRF test (this is a form of XRay and subsequent fluoresence test for various contaminants), the Judge noted that up to 30 truck loads appeared to be dumped on a skid pad. These were then mixed by the operator who scooped the results onto various parts of the landfill face. They noted the waste was mixed – concrete, asphalt, clay, soil. He noted that Puketutu was different from Three Kings – in that it is being rehabilitated for “rural pastoral purposes”.
That seemed a fairly comprehensive visit. Gives a flavour of where Judge Smith is coming from. Interesting that he takes it upon himself to advocate using a water treatment plant he finds along the way - to treat water from de-watering. And recharge the aquifer.