Melbourne Water will soon begin important works to upgrade the Lillydale Lake Wetlands to improve its performance and ensure it can meet stormwater quality treatment standards.

Stage one of the project is planned to start in November 2019 and involves draining the wetland, modifying the inlet and outlet to manage flows entering the wetland and revegetating it with new plants to support the filtering of pollutants.

Melbourne Water’s Project Manager, Alex Chesterfield, said this upgrade would ensure improved and healthier waterways for the community to enjoy.

“Wetlands like those at Lillydale Lake have a vital role to play in protecting our rivers, particularly the Yarra River, from pollutants flowing directly into them and ultimately washing into our bays,” Mr Chesterfield said.

“This project will ensure that the Lillydale Lake Wetland continues to function, as designed, to filter pollutants and help keep our rivers and creeks healthy.

”We’re actively working with the community and Yarra Ranges Council to ensure there will be minimal impact on both the community and the environment while the upgrade is taking place.”

The stage one works will mean some local impacts during the project, including machinery noise, dust and removal of some vegetation to gain access to the wetland.

There will also be some odour as the stockpiled sediment dries out, along with temporary closures of the pedestrian boardwalk and other paths around the wetland, with diversions in place to safely guide the community around the works.

The sediment will be tested by Melbourne Water and treated accordingly. There is no public health risk associated with the odour which is generated from the natural breakdown of organic material.

Billanook Ward Councillor, Tim Heenan, said that the works are vital in helping maintain the health of local waterways.

“The wetlands help keep our rivers and creeks healthy by capturing the pollutants that wash into our stormwater from roads, hard surfaces, parks and gardens,” Mr Heenan said.

“They also encourage biodiversity and offer a habitat for native plants and animals to thrive, so it’s important that Melbourne Water keeps a close eye on that while they’re undertaking the works.

“We thank the community in advance for their patience throughout the duration of this important project.”

Stage two of the project is set to commence following the 2020 winter season and will involve revegetating the wetland area.

Siobhan Day is the Assistant Editor of Utility magazine and Pump Industry magazine, and has been part of the team since early 2019. With a background in management in the non-profit sector, Siobhan has extensive experience in communications, professional writing and client management. She holds a Bachelor of Business and Communications and is currently completing a postgraduate degree.

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