Why do we need to remove trees from retarding basins? (Speaker Mark Arnold)

Explanation of how trees impact the operation of retarding basins

8 March 2018
Audio described version

A retarding basin embankment is an engineered structure and it retains water during flood events.

Removing trees is necessary because if we allow trees to grow on embankments, they can cause the embankment to fail and cause issues downstream in terms of property damage and potentially even loss of life.

During extreme storm events they can topple out of the embankment, taking a root ball and part of the embankment with them.

Their root systems can also cause defects and they also prevent appropriate maintenance and inspection activities for our own staff to make sure the embankments are performing in a safe manner.

A lot of our retarding basins are public reserves and parks, and we understand the value of trees at these sites for local community values.

Melbourne Water only removes trees at these sites when absolutely necessary when they're planted in inappropriate locations and we always try to maintain and retain trees where they're appropriately planted.