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Published: 2003-05-29 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is to help Rotokauri Lake Management Committee build a silt trap at Lake Rotokauri to improve the lake’s water quality.

The Council is to provide a $20,000 Environmental Initiatives Fund grant to build a silt trap to contribute to the lake’s restoration. The lake’s deteriorating condition has been of continuing concern to Environment Waikato.

Corporate Planner Kevin Collins said the Council had done substantial monitoring at the site and recently rebuilt the weir to assure adequate water levels in the lake. Installing a silt trap would help, and was a necessary step in stemming the lake’s systemic decline but it would not solve all the problems in the lake. It was likely to be overwhelmed during high flow periods and would not significantly reduce high phosphate levels that were the underlying problem, he said.

There are larger problems that Hamilton City, Waikato District and Environment Waikato have to look at together, he said.

Other work to improve the lake included reconstructing the weir, fencing the lake from stock and maintaining a planted buffer between the lake and farm activities and restoring wetland areas to help filter out pollutants and excess nutrients.