Council initiates project to reduce stormwater flows from north Torquay to Karaaf Wetlands

June 11, 2024 BY

The stormwater diversion project aims to reduce stormwater flows from north Torquay to the Karaaf Wetlands. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Surf Coast Shire is embarking on a stormwater diversion project to reduce stormwater flows from north Torquay to the Karaaf Wetlands.

The project will see the establishment of a pump system from the Esplanade Wetland to the existing drainage network at the mouth of Deep Creek.

This plan also includes adjustments to the Esplanade Wetland layout and the removal of remaining weeds.

Shire deputy mayor Mike Bodsworth said community advocacy had resulted in action.

“This started with our community demanding that the council should do better in protecting the Karaaf saltmarsh, and has continued with the great advice of the community reference group in this most recent phase of planning.”

“This has not only led us to reach this significant milestone, where we have an agreed path forward, but has also driven Council to make permanent improvements in how we plan for and maintain stormwater assets into the future.”

The pump system is projected to divert about 300 megalitres of current flows away from the Karaaf each year while ensuring that water levels in the Sands lakes system are preserved.

Cr Bodsworth said the priority was delivering the first stage to provide some relief to the Karaaf, while developing plans for a second stage.

“The next phase of planning will be in greater detail, encompassing environmental impact analysis, regulatory approvals, further stakeholder engagement, detailed design and continued community engagement.

“We will continue to work with all stakeholders, including Barwon Water and the Sands, on further reductions of stormwater inflows to the Karaaf, to further improve the quality of water leaving the north Torquay stormwater network and to maximise the diversion of stormwater from north Torquay for productive re-use.”

Further assessments will be conducted to evaluate the environmental and social impacts of increased water flow through the mouth of Deep Creek to the ocean.

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