Wetland to clean up Port Phillip Bay

Melbourne Water
Tuesday, 03 August, 2010

Natural filter for stormwater

The biggest wetland ever constructed in Victoria has been completed and will play a key role in improving the health of Melbourne’s waterways, particularly Dandenong Creek and Port Phillip Bay. Water Minister Tim Holding officially opened the 48-hectare Dandenong Valley Wetland in Scoresby, which is 24 times the size of the MCG.

“The Brumby Labor Government and Melbourne Water are working to improve the health of rivers, creeks and waterways across Victoria,” Holding said.

“The $15 million wetland will act as a natural filter that soaks up and breaks down pollution in stormwater before it is released into Dandenong Creek.

“More than 1.6 million plants at the new Dandenong Valley Wetland will create a unique ecosystem which will provide water, food and habitat for thousands of birds, fish and other animals.

“More than 28 tonnes of nitrogen, 5000 tonnes of suspended solids and 9 tonnes of phosphorus will be prevented from polluting Dandenong Creek and Port Phillip Bay every year.

“This wetland will also be a fantastic asset for the local community and Melbourne Water is working on a proposal to develop a walking and cycling track through the wetland.

“Melbourne Water, with the support of Friends of Dandenong Valley Parklands, should be congratulated for their ongoing work on improving the health of waterways in this area.”

Holding said many people don’t realise that stormwater run-off from suburban streets and gutters is the main polluter of our waterways.

“Stormwater run-off can carry pollutants including animal droppings, motor oil and rubbish,” he said.

Holding said the completion of this wetland marked the end of a 10-year, $60 million program in which 50 wetlands have been built to improve the health of rivers, creeks and Port Phillip Bay by reducing pollution including nitrogen.

“A CSIRO study in 1996 identified nitrogen from stormwater run-off as the greatest threat to the health of Port Phillip Bay, with most of the nitrogen entering the bay from stormwater run-off from Melbourne’s streets,” he said.

“This new wetland has enabled Melbourne Water to achieve its goal of slashing the amount of nitrogen polluting Port Phillip Bay by 100 tonnes a year.”

The Dandenong Valley Wetland was constructed by the Waterways Alliance - a partnership between Melbourne Water, Fulton Hogan, Ecodynamics and SMEC.

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