De-watering in Western Sydney

Project outline

De-watering of two decommissioned Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP) oxidation ponds was required as part of works to rehabilitate this potentially contaminated site. Niche was engaged to develop and implement a management plan to safely relocate any aquatic fauna, and supervise ecological aspects of the de-watering process. .

Niche aquatic ecologists worked closely with environment and remediation specialists

Our role

Our role was to develop and implement a fauna translocation management plan ensuring the safe translocation of fauna, while meeting the relevant environmental legislation, animal ethics guidelines and codes of practice.


De-watering has several legislative obligations and environmental implications. However there remains limited ecological guidelines that are specific to the management of impacts to aquatic flora and fauna.

Niche adopted dewatering guidelines developed by nearby local Council and ensured that all relevant environmental and ethical obligations were addressed. Through the development and implementation of a project specific management plan for the de-watering works, our aquatic ecology team were able to ensure:

    • Ethical treatment of aquatic fauna
    • No impact to the receiving environment
    • Minimal potential spread of introduced fish (Gambusia holbrooki)
    • Safety of field staff


Niche aquatic ecologists worked closely with environment and remediation specialists on the project to successfully translocate 38 Snake-necked turtles, 1 Murray River turtle and 31 Short-finned eels. As part of these works, our team also monitored water quality to ensure there were no impacts on the receiving waters during the de-watering process.

To meet our aquatic and estuarine ecology team click here and to find out more about Niche’s marine, coastal, estuarine and freshwater ecology services, click here or contact us.

Dewatering Western Sydney

Aquatic fauna translocation