Sand bag pumping for coastal management

Major dredging and sand bag work to restore and protect one of the Sunshine Coast’s most-loved and frequented foreshores is ...

Major dredging and sand bag work to restore and protect one of the Sunshine Coast’s most-loved and frequented foreshores is due for completion this month.
The local Sunshine Coast Council engaged experienced contractors specialising in pumping and dredging for the renewal project for the coastline between Alexandra Headland and Cotton Tree.
NPE were engaged for specialised pump hire to fill sand bags as part of the larger project estimated to be worth $1.8 million.
This crucial stage of works included the renewal of two groynes and the Sea Wall geotextile with containers (also known as geo bags or geofabric bags) filled with sand to protect the coastline.

NPE supplied a heavy duty sludge slurry pump hydraulically controlled and mounted on an excavator.
Selected for it’s durability, the NPE pump was relied on to start and stop as each sandbag was filled.

The pump transferred sea water and sand from the coastal location into purpose made eco-bags for onsite sand management.  These will provide protection from storm surge and replaced former sand bag groynes and sea wall placed about 18 years earlier.  Each individual bag filled weighed eight to eleven tonnes when moved into position – collectively holding sand and dunes from washing into the river mouth.



A Sunshine Coast Council project

Council said the Maroochy Groyne Field Renewal project was the result of extensive council planning including a 10-year Shoreline Erosion Management Plan (SEMP) developed in 2014.
“The groyne renewal project incorporate sound science, coastal engineering principals, community values and coastal dynamics,” council said.
The contractor for local council commenced work in April with the project due for completion in August.

These sand mediation works protect a buffer on the southern side of the Maroochy River mouth to shelter community infrastructure including surf lifesaving towers, view decks, car parks , roads and playgrounds from severe erosion caused by storms, swells and weather events.
Sand nourishment, dune revegetation and protection, and limiting beach access points were all part of the current shoreline management approach on Maroochydore Beach, expected to continue for many years to come.

How to fill sand bags for coastal management?

A mix of sea water and sand is pumped into geo bags.  These can be sized for the application.  The Maroochy River sand bags pictured weighed 8-11 tonnes each.
Water is then purged from the geofabric bags before they are sealed and moved into place by plant operators.
These make for an eco-wise option for coastal protection works with minimal intervention for the coastal environment.

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