The first phase of the remediation project at the former CSIRO research facility at 1 Henry Street Belmont is progressing well and expected to be completed next month.
Since mid-June, the focus of works at the site has been on remediation of a small area of soil contaminated with a liquid hydrocarbon from a dry cleaning machine used some 40 years ago.
A specialist remediation company engaged by CSIRO has been managing the process of safely removing the hydrocarbon from the soil in a controlled manner. This is to ensure the site is clean and safe for future use.
The contamination was found during soil testing and is easily and safely removed. This is a common task performed by the remediation industry.
In the past few months, the affected soil has been dug out and formed into stockpiles to enable extraction and collection of the hydrocarbon in carbon filters. The filters will be removed at the end of the project and regenerated, a process in which the hydrocarbons are recovered enabling the carbon filters to be reused.
Removal of the hydrocarbon from the soil has been a success so far, although winter temperatures have made the removal process slower than what would occur in summer.
The remediated soil should be ready to be returned back to its original place in October.
In order to minimise disruption to residents, the extraction system has been surrounded by a wall of hay bales which has been an excellent sound barrier.
Neighbours would have seen excavators on site in June, but since then, only occasional visitors would have been noticed. The staff who visit the site have been monitoring the progress of the removal process and checking on the extraction system.
In October, residents can once again expect to see earth-moving equipment return to site when the soil is compacted back into the excavation. This process should take less than a week.
The next stage is to perform the final remediation of a 20m by 30m area of land. This is the last task to be undertaken by CSIRO before exiting the site and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2018.
To minimise disruption, work will continue to be carried out between 7am and 5pm Monday to Friday. Weekend work is not envisaged.
As explained previously, the 6.2 hectare site has been sold to development company Up Property, who intend to develop it for residential use. Some of their staff may also occasionally visit the site as they start preparing for their development.
CSIRO will maintain the grounds and verge by ensuring the grass is regularly cut and trees are kept in good order. This will be a focus during spring.
CSIRO’s goal is to ensure the site is remediated and free of structures to ensure future residents of the property and the wider community enjoy a safe place to live. CSIRO appreciates your understanding and patience while these important works are being carried out.
CSIRO is committed to ensuring the safety of our workers and the local community and will continue to carry out the project in line with current regulations and WorkSafe Victoria requirements.
The fence around the property, preventing unauthorised access to the site, will remain in preparation for the next stage. Security patrols will continue their daily monitoring of the site after hours.
We will continue to keep you informed as the process progresses and welcome any questions the community may have. Questions or feedback can be provided by contacting the project team.
Thank you for your patience while we complete the demolition works. For more information, please refer to the FAQ list on our website https://wp.csiro.au/belmontworks/ or contact us on the details provided below. We will continue to provide you with regular newsletter updates as the work progresses.