Engineering Downstream Benefits with Upstream Thinking

Engineering Downstream Benefits with Upstream Thinking

Since 2017, Calibre’s Water & Environment team in Canberra has been involved in the design of the joint Australian-ACT Government’s Healthy Waterways Project. This initiative is part of the greater Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which has committed over $80million to reduce the growing problem of pollutants in waterways.

The biggest cause of water pollution in lakes and waterways in the ACT is contaminated stormwater run-off from streets, house blocks, development sites, retail and industrial areas. Leaf litter is one of the biggest contaminants, overloading waterways with nutrients, contributing to the blue-green algae outbreaks. Every house in Canberra is uphill from our waterways so every drop of water used as well as all the rainwater that falls ends up in the lakes.

Calibre has played a key role in providing design and construction surveillance services to nearly half of the water quality improvement devices. Senior Engineer, Antony Motha’s role has been to manage the design team and budget, ensuring delivery of the design to the satisfaction of the client and stakeholders. The unique design embraced multiple types of infrastructure, including four wetlands, three bioretention systems and three creek restorations in the Weston Creek, Yarralumla Creek, Ginninderra Creek and the Molonglo River catchments. These wetland systems will play a vital role ensuring water will be diverted from existing stormwater pipes in the area to the wetlands before flowing into Weston Creek and the Molonglo River.

This project is ‘one of its kind’ in the ACT, involving the construction of a range of infrastructure, designed to reduce the amount of urban pollutant entering the waterways. The project design has had a tight timeline driven by the Australian Government and required achieving an ‘Excellent’ rating for Infrastructure Sustainability as defined in the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia.

This project also required compliance with newly developed ACT Government Design Standards, which required innovation and clear communication to deliver a successful outcome.

When asked about the project, Antony Motha says: “It is rewarding to see our designs constructed straight after the designs were completed.”

Construction on all stages is 90% complete as at May 2019, with final completion expected in the coming months.

For More Information Contact:

Antony Motha

Stephen Young

Erin Clayton

Communication Enquiries

Monique Roberts

General Manager – Marketing & Communications

+61 7 3895 3444


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