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  Council » Policies and Plans » Rules and regulation » Waikato Regional Plan » Waikato Regional Plan (online version) » 3.8 Drilling* » 3.8.2 Objective

3.8.2 Objective

Drilling activities undertaken in a manner that:

  1. is consistent with the objectives in Section 3.1.2,
  2. is consistent with the objectives in Section 5.2.2,
  3. prevents significant adverse effects from the mixing of previously isolated aquifers,
  4. does not result in significant adverse effects from a loss of aquifer pressure/level,
  5. is consistent with the objectives in Section 7.2.2,
  6. does not result in blow-outs in geothermal wells.

Principal Reasons for Adopting the Objective
The drilling of holes and the discharge of materials/fluids associated with drilling holes has the potential to adversely affect water and soil quality. Any major drilling activity can affect the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water and soil, and thereby potentially affect other uses and values of those resources.

The objectives in Section 3.1.2 address the adverse effects of drilling activities on ground and surface water quality, flow regimes and tangata whenua concerns with respect to the mixing of waters and disturbance of sites of significance. In addition to these objectives there are a number of effects that are specific to drilling activities and therefore included in the objectives in this Chapter.

Drilling and its associated activities, have the potential to cause adverse effects on the flow regimes (hydrology) of ground water. Of primary concern is the adverse effect that opening up long term conduits between hydraulic units can have on ground water systems.

Part d) of objective 3.8.2 acknowledges that Waikato Regional Council needs to ensure that the discharge of drilling fluids onto or into land does not lead to the contamination of soil.

Parts e) and f) of objectives 3.8.2. recognise the potential problems that drilling into geothermal systems can create. Drilling in a geothermal system has the potential to affect geothermal characteristics in the same system but not necessarily adjacent to the hole. Unsafe practices while drilling in geothermal systems can result in blow-outs.

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