Dredged Material Management

Brisbane River naturally carries sediment from the catchment to Moreton Bay which performs important ecological functions. However anthropogenic activities in the catchment have elevated the sediment load of Brisbane River.

The elevated sediment load has significant environmental impacts (for example on seagrass) and also impacts on shipping by depositing in shipping channels. Prior to annual maintenance dredging, we undertake extensive hydrographical survey of Brisbane’s navigable channels to identify locations that have lost depth due to sediment accretion.

An extensive sediment sampling and analysis program (SAP) is undertaken to identify any contaminants within this sediment. Monitoring is also undertaken into turbid water created by dredging.

These results are used to guide our reclamation management strategy and minimise environmental impacts caused by dredging. The results are also communicated to Brisbane City Council (BCC) and the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP).

The majority of dredged sediments are beneficially reused in the development of the port.  We also monitor the quality of the water and sediment within the reclamation ponds to further validate the data collected as part of the SAP.

For more information on dredging and dredge monitoring, please see our factsheets.