A key aim of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) was to ensure we fully understand and manage potential impacts the Bonbeach and Edithvale level crossing removal projects may have on groundwater levels and quality.
What is groundwater?
Groundwater is located underground and usually occurs when water fills soil or rock, like a sponge holding water. Groundwater comes from two sources of water above the ground:
- Rain that has seeped into the soil
- Rivers, streams and other waterways.
Why is groundwater important?
Groundwater is accessed for irrigation of parks and gardens. It is also essential for many local ecosystems such as wetlands, rivers or coastal dunes. This underground water source supports plants, insects, fish, birds and animals.
Our planning and technical work predicts possible changes in groundwater levels around the trenches. This is not uncommon on projects of this nature.
What were the findings on groundwater levels?
We’ve done extensive monitoring and conducted detailed investigations into the potential effects of the rail trenches at Edithvale and Bonbeach on groundwater.
In Edithvale, due to the characteristics of the soil and water table, we are using a design and construction technique that allows for groundwater to pass through and around the trench. This means that current groundwater levels will be maintained.
At Bonbeach, the groundwater flows in a slightly different direction which means that while changes to groundwater levels are predicted, they are relatively minor and are unlikely to have a significant impact.
We will implement a monitoring and management plan at both locations to make sure any impacts are identified quickly and addressed.
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