Proposed residential development adjacent to the Lake Warden RAMSAR ewtland, Esperance

Proposed residential development adjacent to the Lake Warden RAMSAR ewtland, Esperance

Proposed residential development adjacent to Lake Warden RAMSAR wetland


A hydrogeological & hydrological investigation was undertaken of a proposed fly-in residential estate to be constructed adjacent to the Lake Warden wetland northeast of Esperance. Lake Warden is a RAMSAR designated wetland with high ecological values. The site development incorporates effluent treatment systems with disposal via on-site irrigation.

A site investigation determined that the soils possess adequate infiltration capacity and depth to water whihc may permit effluent disposal. Nutrient absorbsion rates in soils were estimated from the PRI and CEC of soils which showed a minimum of 7 years capacity for nutrient removal by soils from proposed septic systems.

Lake water is chemically similar to groundwater, although pH indicates that groundwater comprises only a minor portion. Surface water has a lower average turbidity, is oxygenated and low in nutrients. Site surface water is relatively fresh, with low concentrations of nutrients consistent with former fertiliser applications or loadings from stock or native fauna.

Site run-off has been altered through the construction of roadways, however major drainage lines to the southerly wetlands are retained. Run-off volumes are estimated for various storm events.

A surface water feature is proposed at a topographic low through excavation of soils to form an engineered wetland. This will be beneficial in improving the surface water quality discharged to the Lake Warden wetland through the removal of sediments and nutrients. A monitoring network was established to determine baseline conditions prior to development.

Stuart Jeffries
Hydrosolutions Pty Ltd

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