Close to 30 people turned out for the planting day at the Arawhata River sediment trap on Hokio Beach Road in Levin on Sunday morning.

Within 45 minutes the volunteers of all ages, turning out with spades, gumboots, hats and plenty of enthusiasm, managed to plant 600 trees and shrubs, designed to screen the sediment traps from the road, situated below Kohuturoa Marae.

The sediment traps (there are four holding ponds in the system) work best in times of high rainfall. The Arawhata River is diverted into the traps, slowing down the water long enough to allow sediment to sink to the bottom, after which the water returns to the river much cleaner, said Logan Brown, Horizons Regional Council's Freshwater and Partnerships Manager.

Flaxes were among the plants used to screen the Arawhata River sediment traps from Hokio Beach Road.
Flaxes were among the plants used to screen the Arawhata River sediment traps from Hokio Beach Road.

Every 10 or 15 years the ponds will need to be cleaned out as the sediment builds up.
The river's water has four different places to deposit sediment, all four are at a different elevation and are designed to function at their peak when there is a lot of water going down the Arawhata River.

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The planting was done inside the fence and along the road, to screen off the sediment trap area from the road, as required by the resource consent for the sediment traps.
The volunteers were treated to cups of tea and sausages by the marae. More planting will be done on August 4, and 12.

One of four sediment traps designed to catch as much sediment as possible from the Arawhata River before the water enters Lake Horowhenua.
One of four sediment traps designed to catch as much sediment as possible from the Arawhata River before the water enters Lake Horowhenua.