Yarra River Dredge Options Study (Victoria)

BMT WBM developed a monitoring program for the Victorian Channels Authority (VCA) to provide environmental safeguards and to assist with the management of maintenance dredging works at the Port of Melbourne.

A soil contamination investigation was completed by BMT WBM prior to dredging approval to provide baseline levels.

The study aimed to:

  • Monitor turbidity generated by the dredge “Vella” operating in the Yarra River;
  • Monitor the turbidity generated by the placement of spoil at   the Main Spoil Ground; 
  • Examine aerial photography of the placement plume and track its movement and dispersion; 
  • Test for contaminants in turbid water generated by dredging and spoil placement; and 
  • Assess the distribution of placed spoil two months after the completion of dredging. 

Results of the chemical analyses were compared with the draft State Environment Protection Policy (SEPP) for waters of the Yarra River (downstream of Victoria Dock).  The results of the study enabled conclusions to be made regarding the turbidity, water quality and plume formation associated with the dredging and spoil-placement operations, as well as assessing the potential for spoil dispersion after placement. 

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