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Dredging of Port Phillip Bay weekly update

Maintenance dredging

Photo: The Port of Melbourne.
The Port of Melbourne Corporation began routine maintenance dredging in Hobsons Bay and the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers on 17 November 2009.

The works are separate to the Channel Deepening Project. Approximately 300,000 cubic metres of uncontaminated and contaminated sediment will be removed from several berths and berth approaches within the Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers, Webb Dock, Ann Street Pier and along the northern section of the channel leading to Station Pier within Hobsons Bay.

All dredged sediment will be placed in the Port of Melbourne Dredged Material Ground and capped with clean sand from the south of Port Phillip Bay.

A small backhoe dredge will remove the sediment and a dredge vessel or Trailing Suction Hopper Dredge will remove the clean sand that will be used to cap the contaminated sediment.

Six northern beaches will be tested weekly for 12 heavy metals from November 2009 to June 2010. The results will be available below.

Results from a similar 19 month program conducted during the Channel Deepening Project showed that the Bay’s beaches were in very good condition and that metal and organic chemicals readings were consistent with historic levels for the Bay.

The program must comply with an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and the Office of the Environmental Monitor will scrutinise dredging works to ensure they follow the requirements set out in the EMP. To assist with this task, the Office has commissioned two independent audits. The first of these, for the period 19 October 2009 to 6 August 2010 is available
here. The second report, covering the period 7 August 2010 to 18 January 2011, is available here.

Beach Monitoring Program results

As part of the Port of Melbourne Corporation’s routine maintenance dredging, water from six northern Port Phillip Bay beaches will be tested weekly for 12 heavy metals such as copper, lead, mercury and arsenic.

The beaches to be tested are:

  • Williamstown
  • Sandridge
  • Port Melbourne
  • Middle Park
  • St Kilda
  • Elwood
Monitoring will run from November 2009 to June 2010.

Click on the links in the table below to view the monitoring results.

November 09
11 Nov
18 Nov
25 Nov
December 09
2 Dec
9 Dec
16 Dec
23 Dec
30 Dec
January 10
6 Jan
13 Jan
20 Jan
27 Jan
February 10
3 Feb
10 Feb
17 Feb
24 Feb
March 2010
4 Mar
10 Mar
17 Mar
24 Mar
31 Mar
April 2010
7 April
14 April
19 April
28 April
May 2010
5 May
12 May
19 May
26 May
June 2010
2 Jun
9 Jun
16 Jun
23 Jun
30 Jun
July 2010
7 Jul


The Office receives notifications on the implementation of the Environmental Management Plan for the Maintenance Dredging Program. Relevant notifications are listed in the table below.

Pollution Event
Notification provided as required by EMP Table 2.

To view information and results from other programs that monitor Bay water quality click on the links below.
Channel Deepening Project beach monitoring program
Water Quality Monitoring Program