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Remediating the Macdonaldtown Gasworks involved more than removing and containing contaminants, as important as those aspects of the project were. We also rose to the challenge of achieving important heritage and biodiversity outcomes, all while engaging constructively with the local community.
This project saw the excavation, treatment and removal of contaminated material, the heritage value of the former gasworks recorded and preserved, and the biodiversity of the western portion of the site improved through revegetation with local native species.
When Railcorp was tasked with remediating the historic Macdonaldtown Gasworks site in the inner western Sydney suburb of Erskineville, they engaged Ventia to deliver this complex project.
The Macdonaldtown Gasworks Remediation Site housed a gasworks from 1892 to 1958 which produced gas for lighting railway carriages and the Eveleigh Railway Workshops. Processing coal and shale on-site left a legacy of contamination which remained when the gasworks was demolished. Over the decades, the waste contaminated the soil as well as groundwater.
The site is also home to the heritage listed Southern Gasholder, the last remaining structure of its type in NSW. We were responsible for protecting the historic gasholder during the works as well as restoring it to its former glory upon completion.
We considered the many possible approaches to best remediate the site, taking into account social, environmental and economic factors. Using an innovative three dimensional modelling process to manage the excavation process, we delivered a safe, secure and sustainable outcome.
To protect the surrounding environment and the local community, we constructed a 2,600m2 environmental control enclosure (ECE). The ECE was constructed of steel trusses covered in a durable, weatherproof fabric and enclosed the primary excavation area. Contaminant emissions were captured in the ECE for treatment through a Ventia-designed Emission Control System (ECS). This system passed air extracted from the enclosure through a series of particulate and chemical filter membranes.
Further detail is available at http://macdonaldtownremediation.com.au/
With its inner city location and 27 residential properties on the site’s western boundary, community engagement was a crucial part of the project. A dedicated Ventia community and environment team consulted with community members. It was important to us to hear what the community had to say, and 100% of community enquiries were closed out within 48 hours.