Water Quality, Plumes and Sediment Measurements

BMT WBM provides comprehensive expertise and experience in the collection and analysis of water quality, sediment quality and sedimentation data in coastal, estuarine and freshwater environments.

Data collection programs are tailored to suit client needs, and can include routine monitoring, compliance monitoring, and the validation and calibration of numerical models.

We provide the following services:

  • Water quality monitoring program design and development
  • Monitoring of dredge plumes using Acoustic Doppler Current Profiling, in-situ measurements and aerial surveys
  • Monitoring of water and sediments from pits, dams, waste-water streams, rivers and wetlands
  • Receiving Environmental Monitoring Plan (REMP) and Transitional Environmental Program (TEP) development and implementation
  • Real-time water quality monitoring system development and implementation
  • Preparation and implementation of sediment sampling and analysis plans in accordance with the National Assessment Guidelines for Dredging
  • Sedimentation measurements
  • Water quality and sediment quality data storage and statistical analyses
  • Analytical interpretation of water quality and sediment quality data.

Recent Relevant Projects

Twofold Bay Dredge Plume Monitoring (NSW)

BMT WBM was commissioned to undertake monitoring of the water quality, marine communities and sedimentation on seagrass within East Boyd Bay during the dredging of the turning basin for the Twofold Bay Naval Facility in southern NSW.  This monitoring was required to identify and manage potential impacts of plumes generated by dredging on sensitive receptors within the embayment.  A comprehensive range of monitoring methods was used in this study which included:

  • Deployment of real time water quality loggers adjacent to the proposed dredging operation to examine turbidity levels before (baseline) and during dredging;
  • Measurements of sedimentation within sensitive Posidonia seagrass beds
  • Assessments of benthic fauna, seagrass and fish communities at control sites and sites adjacent to the dredge area.

The project and the dredging were completed without significant modification to dredging procedures.

Toondah Harbour Sediment Quality (Queensland)

Sediment quality assessments are required to assess the suitability of dredged sediments for unconfined ocean disposal.  BMT WBM was commissioned to characterise the physical and chemical properties of dredged sediments from Toondah Harbour, in line with requirements outlined in the national ocean disposal guidelines.  Comprehensive sediment testing was undertaken including measurements of contaminants in bulk sediment, pore water testing, AVS/SEM analysis and ecotoxicology assessments.  Through these studies, it was demonstrated that dredged material was suitable for unconfined ocean disposal at the designated disposal site within Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Receiving Environmental Monitoring Plan – South Walker Creek Mine (Queensland)

South Walker Creek Mine undertakes routine and compliance monitoring in line with permit conditions set out in its Environmental Authority.  BMT WBM scientists and engineers reviewed and analysed water, sediment and aquatic macroinvertebrate monitoring data to assess potential impacts of mine discharges on downstream receiving environments, and compliance with permit conditions.  Advice was also provided on changes to the design of the receiving environment monitoring program (REMP) to improve its ability to detect mining impacts to receiving environments.