Part of Hatupatu Drive closed due to geothermal activity in the area
Update: 2.30pm, Tuesday 9 November
Contractors have managed to re-quench the bore on Hatupatu Drive that started to heat up again last week. The bore had initially been grouted shut but gases and steam were still escaping from around the outside of the sealed area. This activity has now largely been cooled down again, with just a small leak remaining. Council staff and contractors are working through the best options to resolve this.
This section of Hatupatu Drive remains closed and safety cordons are still in place. The public are advised to keep well clear of the safety fencing.
Update: 2.30pm, Friday 5 November
The situation remains the same with the bore on Hatupatu Drive. Contractors are continuing to try and cool and quench the bore so repairs can be made where the casing is suspected to have split.
Update: 1pm, Thursday 4 November
There have been no changes since yesterday’s update.
Drilling contractors have returned to site this morning, and will continue the bore quenching process throughout the day.
Update: 5pm, 3 November 2021
Work to re-quench the bore along Hatupatu Drive has continued today. Once the bore is cooled, council’s contractors will be looking to repair the part of the bore casing that is suspected to have split and caused the steam and gas to escape.
Hydrogen sulphide levels around the Rotorua Energy Events Centre (EEC) and Sportsdrome have dropped and the EEC was open again today. The hydrogen sulphide levels continue to be closely monitored.
A reminder that the issues we’re currently experiencing in Hatupatu Drive, and recently in Kuirau Park, are due to failures with the bores’ casings, and not due to any known increase or change in naturally occurring geothermal activity.
In this instance, it is suspected that the acidity of the geothermal water has corroded the bore casing over time, causing the failure.
UPDATE: 1pm, Tuesday 2 November
The bore that was causing hot water and steam to come up through Hatupatu Drive last week was grouted shut yesterday (this is standard practice after an issue that can’t be fixed is detected within a bore) and the surrounding area was cemented. The bore had been quenched last week and had remained inactive for a number of days. However today the bore has started to heat again, and gases and steam are escaping from around the outside of the sealed area. Higher than usual hydrogen sulphide levels have also been detected in the area. Council staff and contractors are onsite trying to quench this latest activity and investigations are underway to determine what’s happening (it is suspected that the casing below the area which was grouted has split).
Due to the hydrogen sulphide levels, the Rotorua Energy Events Centre (EEC) and Sportsdrome have been evacuated as a precaution. Events scheduled in the EEC for this afternoon and tonight have been cancelled until further notice.
Worksafe is onsite monitoring the situation.
The road around the bore remains closed and safety fences are still in place. The public is advised to stay well clear of the safety cordons while this work is ongoing.
UPDATE: 4.30pm, Wednesday 27 October
Council staff and contractors have successfully been able to quench a bore that was causing hot water and steam to come up through Hatupatu Drive today. Water was used to cool and quench the bore. Water will continue to be poured into the bore over night to ensure it stays inactive. The bore is to be grouted shut permanently.
Part of Hatupatu Drive remains closed but a detour is in place so the public can still access Oruawhata Drive and Queens Drive. Safety fencing remains in place and security staff will be keeping an eye on things over night. If you’re in the area please keep well clear of the safety cordons.
The cause of the event was due to a casing failure, likely caused by the ground conditions in the area. This event is not considered to be linked to any other recent bore-related events.
9am, Wednesday 27 October
Part of Hatupatu Drive behind the Rotorua Sportsdrome has been closed due to geothermal activity in the area.
This is related to a nearby bore which is causing steam and water to come up through the road.
The closure applies to Hatupatu Drive between Oruawhata Drive and Queens Drive.
Council staff and contractors continue to monitor and assess the situation. We will share more information as it comes to hand.