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As a result of the recent high rainfalls and subsequent flooding Melbourne Water is working with emergency services and other relevant agencies to review the impacts to our waterways and assets. 

For flood or storm emergency assistance, contact the VIC SES on 132 500 and for life threatening emergencies call 000. 

You can access current emergency information by calling the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 or sign up to receive regular updates regarding flooding via the emergency.vic.gov.au website and app.

Background

The June extreme storm had a devastating impact on the Dandenong Ranges and the people who live and work there. Approximately 60ha of land inside Silvan Reservoir was directly impacted, resulting in an unprecedented amount of debris.

Over the last few months, our crews have been working hard to repair impacted assets in the area, clear our waterways and drainage networks to reduce risks of blockages, and remove debris from Silvan Reservoir to ensure the safety of our water supply.

What’s Happening?

Any attempts to clean up the large volume of debris inside Silvan Reservoir have been hampered by ongoing poor weather conditions which have halted operations for days at a time, and further added to the debris.

The quantity of debris remaining inside the reservoir is at levels which pose a significant bushfire risk. Bushfire in our water supply catchments can impact water quality, so it’s crucial that the fallen trees and other debris be removed as soon as possible.

Timber recovery following the storms is a sensitive operation requiring specialised planning and expertise. VicForests has been engaged to assist us in this process as they have the specialist skills and equipment required to do the job quickly and safely and the expertise through their highly trained and skilled planners, biodiversity experts, foresters and contractors.

VicForests will work closely with Melbourne Water’s local team of ecological and forestry experts to ensure that the long-term ecological interests and biodiversity of the area are maintained.

When will the operation take place?

The operation began in April this year, with our crews working hard to repair impacted assets in the area, clear our waterways and drainage networks to reduce risks of blockages, and remove debris from the catchment forest to ensure the safety of our water supply.

More than 70% of the affected areas has now been treated however, due the arrival of wet weather, the project was put on hold in June.

Continuing to operate heavy machinery over winter would have increased the risk of generating muddy runoff into the dam and destroyed the structure of the forest soils. 

The operation will resume in early October and weather permitting, will be finished by late November.

Works hours will be between 7.00am and 4pm, Monday- Friday in accordance with EPA guidelines.

What are the potential impacts?

Local residents may notice some noise and dust from on-site machinery and an increase in vehicle movements around the reservoir as a result of this operation.

Melbourne Water is committed to delivering world-class solutions with minimal impact on the community, on businesses and on the environment, and we thank you for your patience during this essential operation.

 

Last updated:
3 October 2022