Toby Inlet Set for Flushing

Published on 07 December 2017

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On 11 December 2017, Toby Inlet will be opened to the ocean to increase water flushing and reduce the likelihood of algal blooms.

As part of the Revitalising Geographe Waterways program, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation completed a continuous monitoring and estuary modelling program in the summer of 2015/16 to understand flushing in the Toby Inlet and investigate options for management of the inlet. One of the most cost effective options recommended by the study is to maintain the Toby Inlet entrance open to the ocean to maximise water exchange and tidal flushing. It also recommended the culvert between Station Gully and Toby Inlet remains open.

The work of opening the sand bar, undertaken by the City of Busselton aims to prevent deteriorating water quality in the inlet and unpleasant odours as summer continues. It will involve opening up the mouth of the inlet using excavation and front-end loading equipment. Water levels will be monitored throughout summer and, if necessary, the ocean entrance will be reopened if it closes due to natural processes.

City of Busselton Senior Sustainability/Environment Officer, Mathilde Breton said: “Opening Toby Inlet to the ocean is a relatively easy management measure that will have immediate positive effects on improving water quality. It is satisfying to be able to put directly into practice recommendations from rigorous scientific research”.

The late afternoon of 11 December 2017 has been identified as the most appropriate time to undertake this work as it coincides with the greatest tidal variations therefore allowing for maximum flow.

The excavation work will involve heavy machinery and could result in a surge in water flow as the mouth is opened. Members of the public are advised to adhere strictly to safety closures during and after works.

Outcomes and objectives outlined in this statement align with Key Goal Area 4 in the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2017): An environment that is valued, conserved and enjoyed.

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Media enquiries can be directed to meredith.dixon@busselton.wa.gov.au