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Farming, cattle grazing and the construction of dams have all contributed to changes in the waterways of the Lower Yarra River Floodplains in Melbourne, Victoria. Melbourne Water recently re-watered the Annulus Billabong for the conservation of many indigenous plants and birds. The Bayswater™ Mobile Hose Crate equipped with Waterlord® layflat hose from Crusader Hose was the solution for the temporary pipeline for the water transfer.

The waterways around Melbourne’s Lower Yarra River Floodplains have gone through many changes with urbanisation. Areas that were once natural habitats for indigenous plants and birdlife were converted to support farming, cattle and horse grazing.

The regular flooding of rivers by rainfall, which is responsible for the lifecycle of billabongs, was affected by the construction of the Yarra Dam in the 1950s as well as by climate change. As a result, many billabongs located in the Yarra Flats dried up slowly, affecting the delicate ecosystem. The Annulus Billabong was one of these.

Efforts were undertaken in the 1980s to re-water the billabong using windmills and pumps. An island was created in its centre promising a haven for birdlife. Over time, however, the trees around the windmill grew too tall, and funding ran out.

The Melbourne Water Healthy Waterways Strategy listed the Annulus Billabong as a key waterway within the Wildlife Sanctuary and Conservation Area. Maintaining water levels is critical for the survival of many indigenous plants, attracting birds and restoring the indigenous landscape.

The re-watering of the billabong commenced in October 2020 by pumping water from the Yarra River and bringing various organisms into the billabong ecology.

Waterlord® flexible temporary pipeline.

Bringing the billabong back to life

Layflat hose was chosen for the temporary pipeline for several reasons. Wound onto reels, smaller, lighter vehicles are used for their transport.

Flexible layflat hose takes on the contours of its environment, reducing the need to dig or alter the terrain. The large diameter Waterlord® hose was a seemingly perfect solution for this re-watering project, however, the unrolling and re-rolling was physically demanding.

“Knowing the challenges of unrolling 200m lengths of 8” Waterlord® hose, we were keen to design a reeling system to remedy the situation. Our engineering experts designed the Bayswater™ Mobile Hose Crate,” said Francois Steverlynck, Managing Director of Crusader Hose.

Thys Stryker, Operations Manager of Coates Hire, who undertook the project again in September 2021, was more than pleased at the ease with which the Bayswater™ Mobile Hose Crate deployed the hose. Before, it took a whole day to roll out the hose manually, but with the reeling system, it took only three hours, with much less physical strain. The labour force was delighted.

“This ingenious reeling system can quickly and easily deploy up to 200m of hose in a fraction of the time it would take to do it by hand,” said Francois.

“We are confident this will make the use of layflat hose a lot more desirable for many municipal works.”

The Annulus Billabong re-watering is now scheduled to be carried out every two years. The Bayswater™ Mobile Hose Crate with Waterlord® layflat can reduce the time and effort to complete water transfer projects. It’s proved itself as the system of choice.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by Crusader Hose. For more information, visit www.crusaderhose.com.au/.

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