Happy 21st Lake Pillans!
It was many years ago, when working for the then Department of Land and Water, that our Principal Engineer, Rod Wiese, designed the Lake Pillans project.
It is a wetlands project that treats Stormwater draining from Vale Of Clywdd prior to joining Farmers Creek to the South whilst creating a myriad of habitats and a haven for the local walkers.
The site is adjacent the historic Blast Furnace Park and was the dumping ground for the blast furnace by-products of slag and ash. This made the site constraints for design very interesting because this material contained heavy metals which contaminated the clay soils below. This challenge was taken on by Rod, the then young engineer, who devised a construction management strategy to minimize the potential to export pollutants downstream.
The area was overgrown with weeds, particularly willow trees making the area very difficult to access and only the most persistent illegal dumpers had any success. Rod supervised the construction under individual rates contractors from diggers and trucks through to loaders and pumps to dewater up to 210L/s.
The construction is an interesting story but perhaps too long to share here. It is a great success story (apart from the contraction of Hepatitis A) and the community has embraced the wetland resulting in the creation of a Lake Pillans Community Group with the assistance of Council.
The trees have grown, new pathways created, the wildlife is abundant and it is a very popular destination for the local walkers. Rod is very proud of the project although he cannot help himself to point out a few minor maintenance issues that could be addressed!