Water quality top of the list

People looking at a map on a desk

Improvements in water quality are the priority for the ACT Healthy Waterways team as designs are finalised ahead of construction.

Program Manager, Justin Foley, said the team is working with the primary contractors (GHD and Construction Control) to identify  areas where efficiencies can be made.

"Having consulted with the designers, the scientific community and the public about the project, the current phase is all about working through the detailed design process with the construction team. At this stage, it’s vital we do all we can to reduce costs so we can deliver the greatest number of assets and the best possible water quality outcomes," said Foley.

He pointed to the planned wetland on Cotter Road as an example.

"It will be one of our biggest wetlands projects. Looking at it from a construction point of view, we have worked out that, with some minor design changes, we can reduce the cost but still produce a good water quality outcome.

"We’ve also been thinking about ways to manage earthworks which is one of the biggest expenses in a project of this size. Small changes in this area can have a huge impact on the construction budget," said Foley.

ACT Healthy Waterways is a joint initiative of the ACT and Australian governments to improve the quality of water entering our lakes and waterways and flowing downstream into the Murrumbidgee River system.

Work on one project – new wetlands in Isabella Pond – was fast-tracked to coincide with the upgrade of the weir and has already commenced. The remaining projects will be rolled out in 'packages' that will be determined in consultation with the construction team.

"This offers a further opportunity to identify efficiencies by grouping similar projects or working concurrently on sites in the same area.

"By September we will be ready to announce the first package of projects, with construction set to commence before the end of the year," said Foley.

Continue the conversation on social media by following us on Facebook and Twitter and using these hashtags #h2ok #acthealthywaterways #onlyraindownthestormwaterdrain