To understand the leachate system it is best described by using the analogy of a bath tub. The bath tub is the empty quarry. Fill the bathtub with any rubbish from you house, food scraps, oils, paints, car parts, plastics etc. Now you have a full tip. Now turn on the tap so it’s dripping constantly. The tap is the watertable. After a while the bath will fill up with a cocktail of polluted water and will overflow onto the floor, the floor being the Darebin Creek. This is how the leachate is generated here at Darebin Parklands but of course on a more dramatic scale.
Although some of the pollutants that make up the leachate can cause the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up most are at very low levels and are not out of the ordinary for urban areas, especially landfill sites. Several heavy metal readings recorded in the past have been high but recent tests have shown that levels have dropped significantly and these metals are now suspended within the treatment system where they will have to remain for now.
Leachate facts, figures and points of interest
A system of 12 pumps is dedicated to the leachate system with the most powerful having a capacity of 20,000 litres per hour.
There is over four kilometres of electrical conduit and pipes servicing the system all of which is underground.
The system was originally designed to treat 8 million litres per annum, in 2000, 32 million litres were treated.
Wetland 1 was the first pond in Victoria to be granted permission by the EPA to be constructed on top of a landfill site.
Darebin Council funded the project with $275 000, and Parks Victoria contributed an extra $10 000 to improve the amenity of the system.
The boardwalk crossing near wetland one is built on an old hydraulic bus servicing lift.
Over 60 000 plants have been planted into the system.