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Melbourne Water is using innovative engineering techniques to install critically important corrosion protection to the Patterson Lakes Tidal Canals retaining walls to ensure local residents are not majorly impacted.

Recent investigations of the tidal canals indicated they would need to be replaced due to significant corrosion. Traditional methods of installing corrosion protection would require extensive excavation, creating significant disruption for local residents.

Melbourne Water Project Manager Elmo Tharmaseelan said that an innovative method of installing the cathodic protection was chosen because of its multiple benefits, including minimising impact on residents.

“We developed a solution that allows these essential works to progress with minimal community impact,” Mr Tharmaseelan said.

“The anodes are being installed into the retaining wall, meaning we don’t have to dig up the easement and can carry out works in a much less invasive manner with minimal impacts to residents.”

Cathodic protection diverts corrosion away from the steel reinforcement inside the existing retaining wall to a zinc anode.

Anodes are installed directly into the existing retaining wall rather than burying them in the Melbourne Water easement and connecting them back to the retaining wall, as originally proposed. The anode attracts rust, leaving the steel reinforcement inside the retaining wall intact.

“We are also working to minimise dust by using vacuum drills and we’ll be using a battery rather than a generator to charge the anodes, which means much less noise,” Mr Tharmaseelan said.

“A more efficient methodology also means shorter construction time, which is a win-win for everyone involved.

“By adopting a customer-focused approach, this innovative hybrid solution specifically tailored for Patterson Lakes residents means a safer working environment and reduced community impacts.

“Corrosion protection will also increase the service life of the existing retaining wall by 50 years, meaning increased security for property owners.”

Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny said the solution was a great example of putting the needs of the community first and seeking innovative solutions to potentially disruptive works.

“It’s fantastic to see such a positive outcome for the Patterson Lakes community that delivers an essential service in an efficient, environmentally friendly and non-disruptive manner.

“I’m pleased that local residents will be able to reap the benefit of this upgrade for years to come – all without much disruption to their day to day lives and properties,” Ms Kilkenny said.

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