Durban locals heading down for their regular session at North Beach or Bay of Plenty next week may be surprised to find ‘No Surfing’ signs at their favourite peak. The reason for the ban is to allow the eThekwini Coastal Engineering department the opportunity to install field instruments to measure sand and water movement around the Bay of Plenty pier, gathering vital information for the upgrade of the Bay pier, which is due for some repairs after severe scouring left it structurally unstable.
The initial testing, looking likely to be next Monday, will see the demarcated area closed for up to 24 hours, but further tests may have to be carried out at a later stage, of which we’ll be sure to inform our readers of the proposed dates.
Here’s the official report from the eThekwini Municipality:
The eThekwini Coastal Engineering department is finalising the reconstruction design for Bay of Plenty Pier after severe scouring resulted in some damage to the structure. A study is underway that requires the installation of field instruments to measure current data. The company developing the flow meters is ready for installation on Monday 29th at Bay of Plenty and have requested a window period for installation (the week of the 29th), but are aiming for the Monday, conditions permitting.
The information will be used to assist the design of the new Bay of Plenty Pier, and hopefully provide useful information into the wave and current dynamics off the central piers, that drive the changes in the morphology and surfing banks.
Unfortunately these current meters are rigid and mounted on the sea bed. They therefore pose a serious danger to any bather/surfers etc. We will therefore have to close a portion of Bay of Plenty and North Beach (see image below).
This initial deployment will only be for 24 hrs (for instance – noon on the 29-10-12 to noon on the 30-10-12) to test the proposed methodology. Depending on the outcome there may be a future deployment for several days when required.
Our intention is not to inconvenience any user of the water for an extended period of time, but do feel the information will be of value to all users in the long term. For instance, sand pumping systems will be operational in the near future that will allow for more controlled sand discharge from the end of the piers. It may well result in better surfing conditions, but more research will be required before anything should be expected.