COB confirms first stage of Vasse River dredging process complete after seven weeks of sediment removal

Breanna RedheadBusselton Dunsborough Times
The first stage of sediment removal on the Vasse River has been completed after seven weeks.
Camera IconThe first stage of sediment removal on the Vasse River has been completed after seven weeks. Credit: supplied

The first stage of the hotly debated sediment removal in the Lower Vasse River has been completed after seven weeks of dredging.

About 600 tonnes of sediment were removed from the riverbed, along the 800m stretch of river between the Causeway Road Bridge to upstream from the pedestrian bridge, on Peel Terrace.

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said the plan is on track to improve the river’s overall water quality.

“This first stage of sediment removal in the Lower Vasse River has been widely successful, with a large quantity of sediment removed,” he said.

“This represents a significant amount of nutrients which won’t be released next summer, going towards improving water quality in the river”.

From here, the sediment will continue to dewater for an additional six to eight weeks while being tested for the presence of acid sulfate soil, treated if required and transported off site for reuse.

Water quality in the river was closely monitored for the duration of the works to ensure no detrimental impacts from the dredging operation and the dewatering of the sediment occurred.

This project comes as part of the Royalties for Region’s Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways programs, a State Government initiative aiming to support the long-term health of South West estuaries.

With a thick layer of nutrient-rich, fine organic sediments accumulating throughout the Lower Vasse River, the water quality had become poor because of algae growth.

While sediment removal alone is not expected to prevent algal blooms occurring in the river, it is an important step for improving water quality.

With additional sediment removal plans progressing, a future stage is set to get ahead later this year.

A funding application was also submitted to the WA Government Community Stewardship Program for additional sediment removal in 2023.

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