Easier process for installing sediment traps to protect Kakahu River

Sediment traps, which help reduce erosion and run-off into waterways, can now be installed on farms as part of a catchment-wide consent process in the Kakahu River catchment, near Geraldine.

Environment Canterbury has approved the Kakahu catchment-wide consent to install sediment traps to improve water quality and help protect populations of native fish and invertebrates.  Key water quality issues for the Kakahu River include increasing trends in nitrogen concentrations and elevated phosphorus and E. coli concentrations compared to other hill-fed streams in the area.

An Environment Canterbury land management advisor has been working closely with the Kakahu Catchment Group (near Geraldine) to identify locations for these traps to be installed in the catchment.  Previously, the landowner would have to go through the cost and expense of installing these traps themselves (approximately $1725 per consent).

map of a sediment trap

Sediment Trap in theory

Zone manager, Chris Eccleston, explains: “Making it easier to install sediment traps in key elevated areas will contribute to improving water quality and protecting fish species in the Kakahu River.

“The community is seeing a lot of land changes in the catchment and this impacts the Kakahu River which is also a favourite swimming, fishing location for local residents.”

Ophua Water Ltd, DOC, Te Rūanga o Arowhenua and Fish and Game were consulted with, prior to lodging the consent application.  All parties indicated that this project would be beneficial to enhancing water quality outcomes.

About the Kakahu Catchment Group

The Kakahu Catchment Group has representatives of the farming community, Forest and Bird, Port Blakely (Forestry) and rural consultants who all live in the catchment and are actively involved.

The group has been a proactive sub-catchment group since 2014 and have administrated their own water testing and identified trends in the results.  Regular meetings are held every few months, which involve working towards the best approach to achieving outcomes for safe drinking water, recreation, enhancing cultural and wildlife values, and supporting sustainable, economic activities for the immediate and long-term future.