Work progressing on wetlands rehabilitation

THE project to transform the Turriff Lodge wetlands at New Norfolk into an open parkland is running to schedule, with the area’s walking track expected to reopen next month. Since temporary fencing was erected in April, TasWater has made significant progress on drying out the wetlands ponds and filling them with rock and clean fill. The first step was installing a new outfall for the sewage treatment plant to divert flows out of the wetlands.

This new outfall pipeline extends 14 metres into the river to a depth of six metres. The new pipeline is now in use, but more work must be done to secure it to the riverbed. This will require pile driving – a short, but noisy, process. Project manager Derrick Clack said TasWater would also undertake testing of the new pipeline, using a harmless fluorescent dye, to confirm the behaviour of the treated sewage in the river is in accordance with EPA and TasWater requirements.

“If you’re driving along Boyer Rd this month and you notice that parts of the Derwent River around the new outfall have temporarily turned bright green, this is just TasWater’s testing of the outfall using fluoresceine dye,” Mr Clack said. “The dye is not toxic and has no impact on the environment or public health and will dissipate within a few hours,” he said.

About half of the anticipated 14,000 cubic metres of rock, fill and topsoil has now been transported to the site by truck. The wetlands were constructed in the 1990s to provide tertiary treatment for water being discharged from the then council-owned Turriff Lodge sewage treatment plant.

The plant is now owned by TasWater and an assessment in 2019 found the wetlands – still owned by the council – had not been maintained and no longer provided a significant treatment benefit.

Progress on the rehabilitation works at the Turriff Lodge wetlands which are being restored to open space.

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