Innovation leads to improved outcomes for Patterson Lakes residents

Cutting edge engineering techniques are allowing Melbourne Water to install critically important corrosion protection to the Patterson Lakes Tidal Canals retaining walls, without major impacts to local residents.​

Recent investigations of the tidal canals indicated the retaining walls would need to be replaced due to significant corrosion. Traditional methods of installing corrosion protection would require extensive excavation, creating significant disruption for residents.

Melbourne Water Project Manager Elmo Tharmaseelan said that an innovative method of installing cathodic protection was chosen because of its multiple benefits, including minimising impact to the community.

“We developed a solution that allows these essential works to progress with minimal impact and disruption to those that live in the area,” said Mr Tharmaseelan.

“We are installing anodes directly into the retaining walls, meaning we don’t have to dig up the easement and can carry out works in a much less invasive manner.”

Cathodic protection diverts corrosion away from the steel reinforcement inside the existing retaining wall to a zinc anode. 

Anodes are installed directly into the existing retaining wall rather than burying them in the Melbourne Water easement and connecting them back to the retaining wall, as originally proposed. The anode attracts rust, leaving the steel reinforcement inside the retaining wall intact.

“We are also working to minimise dust by using vacuum drills and we’ll be using a battery rather than a generator to charge the anodes, which means much less noise,” said Mr Tharmaseelan.

“A more efficient methodology also means shorter construction time, which is a win-win for everyone involved. 

“By adopting a customer-focused approach, this innovative hybrid solution specifically tailored for Patterson Lakes residents means a safer working environment and reduced community impacts.

“Corrosion protection will also increase the service life of the existing retaining wall by 50 years, meaning increased security for property owners.”

Member for Carrum Sonya Kilkenny said the solution was a great example of putting the needs of the community first and seeking innovative solutions to potentially disruptive works.

“It’s fantastic to see such a positive outcome for the Patterson Lakes community that delivers an essential service in an efficient, environmentally friendly and non-disruptive manner.

“I’m pleased that local residents will be able to reap the benefit of this upgrade for years to come – all without much disruption to their day to day lives and properties.”

Media contact
Josie Emanuel (03) 9679 7311; 0428 945 556