From mid-March 2018; John Holland-KBR Joint Venture (JH-KBR JV) will deliver upgrade works to the Argus Street Retarding Basin at Cheltenham, on behalf of Melbourne Water. The upgrade works will ensure the retarding basin continues to reduce the risk of flooding to the community. 

Watch our video "Melbourne Water Retarding Basin Program".

Why we are upgrading the Argus Street retarding basin

Melbourne Water has over 200 retarding basins that we regularly assess for risks, conduct maintenance on, and upgrade as necessary. The Australian National Committee on Large Dams (ANCOLD) guidelines represents the best Australian and international engineering practice in the safe design, management and operation of dams. We use these guidelines to manage our retarding basins. The Argus Street retarding basin has recently been assessed against the ANCOLD guidelines. This assessment has shown that upgrade works are necessary to ensure the retarding basin continues to reduce flood risk and operate safely for the community. 

Watch our video "The ANCOLD guidelines"

Construction works at Argus Street Retarding Basin

John Holland-KBR Joint Venture will be undertaking these works on behalf of Melbourne Water.

Works will include:

  • removal of trees, root ball excavation and backfill of embankment
  • embankment crest raising and capping
  • filter trench excavation and backfill
  • filter drain outlet installation
  • spillway reconstruction works

Works will commence in mid-March 2018 and take approximately five months to complete (weather permitting).Construction hours will be Monday to Friday 7am – 6pm and Saturdays from 7am to 1pm in accordance with the EPA regulations.

Watch our video "Why do we need to remove trees from retarding basins?"

What to expect during construction 

We will do everything possible to minimise disruption during construction, however it is likely that nearby residents will notice:

  • large trucks and machinery working around the retarding basin.
  • worker amenities set up within the construction area
  • some noise, dust and vibration from construction works.
  • removal of trees and vegetation from the retarding basin embankment – trees and vegetation in other parts of the reserve will be retained

Timing of works

Works will commence in mid-March 2018 and take approximately five months to complete (weather permitting).Construction hours will be Monday to Friday 7am – 6pm and Saturdays from 7am to 1pm in accordance with the EPA regulations.

Handling wildlife

The project team hired a qualified wildlife handler, with 25 years experience in zoology and ecology, as a precaution and to put community concerns at ease.

They have a permit under the Wildlife Act 1975 and we are operating under this Act.

A Flora and Fauna assessment was completed in the design phase.

The wildlife handler will remain onsite for the duration of the tree removal works (if required).

During the tree removal works, the wildlife handler will:

  • Complete a  wildlife pre clearance check prior to construction, including checking the site for fauna and marking trees likely to have habitat. If fauna is found the wildlife handler will be on site for the duration of the tree removal works.
  • Complete a walk through on the day of the tree removal and again check all hollows to ensure no wildlife had moved in, including checking higher location via a boom (cherry picker).
  • Attempt to catch fauna located in trees (without chasing or causing it distress). If it can’t be caught the wildlife handler will encourage the fauna to move. If this isn’t possible the contractors will move to the next tree and return to try again.
  • Check for micro bats by lifting the bark and checking in hollows and cracks. If any micro bats are found they will be bagged, put in a dark, quiet, cool area and released at dusk, preferably on a mirror image tree.
  • Install nest boxes on site to create more habitat.
  • Remove and relocate nests in trees. If they are intact, they will be put next to the nest box and if not, the remnants are strategically placed in the nest boxes in trees to encourage the fauna into other trees.
  • Retain any hollow trees for fauna habitat. 

Watch our video "Wildlife Management on Retarding Basin upgrade projects".

More Information

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Last updated:
8 March 2018