Lake dregs yield coffee machine
Odd items pulled from lakeKIRSTY MCMURRAY
Contractors dredging Pukekura Park's lakes have made a bizarre find and solved a mystery.
One of the many odd items pulled from the silt at the bottom of the main lake over the last week was an industrial coffee machine.
"It's come out of the Teahouse coffee cart that we have during the Festival of Lights," park curator Chris Connolly said of the discovery.
The coffee cart was broken into last year and the machine went missing.
"We thought someone must have taken it home to use so we were a bit surprised to find it at the bottom of the lake."
As well as the coffee machine, the contractors found a saw, cellphones, tyres and a shopping trolley among the debris.
Contractors are sucking tonnes of silt out of the lake with a dredge on a boat.
"I expect we're probably going to find a bit more yet," Mr Connolly said.
An arborist who worked in the park recovered a saw he had accidentally dropped in the lake.
"It was in perfect condition. It had fallen straight in the mud and there's no oxygen in there so it hadn't corroded at all."
Mr Connolly said a large number of old pinecones had also been dragged up.
"There used to be lots of pinetrees in the park and the pinecones have just been stuck in the mud."
Water levels had been lowered in order to fix the edges of the lake and had made items sitting on the lake floor more visible, NPDC project manager Victoria McKay said.
"We also put CCTV into the sewer and we found a few cellphones there."
For the last week more than 20 contractors have been setting up equipment at the park and this week began to use a vacuum-cleaner-like dredge which will suck up around 10,000 cubic metres of silt.
"It's quite noisy and a bit hazardous," Ms McKay said.
The silt will be pumped through a pipe to a de-watering station set up at the back of the Bowl of Brooklands that will remove the moisture from the soil.
The dry dirt will be spat out on to trucks and carted off.
Mr Connolly said some tracks in the park had been shut off for safety reasons during the dredging project, which is due to end next month.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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