Alexandra Canal – the Biological plug

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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Alexandra Canal –
THE                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    the Biological
BIOLOGICAL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             plug
PLUG                   1999
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sydney Park

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       James Mather Delaney
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Sydenham                                                                                Design

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sydney International Airport

 ALEXANDRA CANAL                                                                                                                                                                                     1:300,000         0   300 600 900m

The Biological Plug project proposes a long term strategy for                           A process which sees plant material used to extract   Ó a crossing of the canal is made possible           delivered to the canal. At the completion of
the remediation of Alexandra Canal. In doing so, it generates                           toxins and heavy metals.                                                                                   remediation, a large store of fresh water, suitable
                                                                                                                                              Ó remediation is made visible and can be
                                                                                                                                                                                                   for variety of uses, is held within the canal.
a number of significant by products that become the building                            The stormwater trapped behind the Plug is
                                                                                                                                                incorporated into education programs

blocks for further environmental and recreational upgrades.                             treated and scrubbed using sedge beds and             Ó sediment from the canal is cleaned and then                                                                                             water tower collects
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        treated stormwater
                                                                                        effective micro organism (EM) technology.               used in the construction of the parks
It is a design that translates a complex environmental process                                                                                                                                                                                                                           from surrounding
                                                                                        This technology originating from Japan uses a                                                                                                                                                          run-off
into an educational and recreational project with an iconic                             culture of 80 species of bacteria to carry out
                                                                                                                                              Ó important research into phytoremediation can
                                                                                                                                                be carried out in a controlled environment.
physical design.                                                                        both aerobic and anaerobic breakdown of
                                                                                        contaminants. The technology is being used in         Water contained may also be diverted to                                                               remediatd sed
                                                                                        agriculture and wastewater treatment in Japan         a wetland established in Sydney Park.                                                                                  t
                                  The “biological plug” is designed as an element       and lately in Australia.
                                  which cleans the canal by a progressive and                                                                 Further detailed investigations will be needed
                                  shifting damming of the polluted waterway. The        Once treated the sediments are removed from           to determine contamination in sediments,                                                    recycle and cle
                                  “biological plug” is a landmass of approximately      the plug and used in the construction of new          appropriate plant material, effectiveness of EM                                                                 se
                                  one hectare located between two transverse            parks in the adjacent brickpits. The plug then        on the stormwater and sediment contaminants                                                                                phytoremediation

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           reed beds

         ALEXANDRA CANAL          weirs in the canal. The fill between the weirs is     moves downstream to treat fresh sediment. It is       and whether there are other emerging                                                          as water

                                                                                                                                                                                                      sediment as
                                  sediment from the canal floor excavated directly      envisaged that the plug would move every              technologies that may be useful in this situation                                            scrubbers                           m e nt
                                                                                                                                                                                                        landform                                                             di
                                  upstream of the plug. The land level of the plug      5 years. At each location the following benefits      for decontamination.                                       in park

                                  will be set so major storm events can wash over
                                  into the canal down stream.
                                                                                        are achieved.
                                                                                                                                              It will take 30 to 50 years for the “Plug” to move
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   in pARtneRship with
                                                                                        Ó a large garden is created providing the means
       Botany Bay                                                                                                                             the entire length of the canal. During this time,
                                                                                          to cross the canal
                                  Within the “Biological Plug” the contaminated                                                               upstream water management measures will
                                  sediment is treated by the use of phytoremeditaion.   Ó a reserve of clean fresh water is created           be implemented to ensure that clean water is                                 park                                    fresh water                plug        salt water