Blue Mountains News

Flood aftermath at Blaxland and Katoomba landfills and Leura Cascades and Cliff Drive

Source: Blue Mountains City Council
Posted: 26 Feb 2020
A mud slide occurred at Blaxland landfill earlier this month, during the state declared natural disaster.
The damage toll in the Blue Mountains, following the state declared natural disaster that occurred earlier this month due to unprecedented rainfall, continues to rise.

A mud slide occurred at Blaxland Resource Recovery and Waste Management Facility on 10 February that resulted in the eastern side of the landfill collapsing, exposing waste and creating leachate containment challenges. The landfills at Blaxland, and the Katoomba Resource Recovery and Waste Management Facility, are being monitored as large amounts of water flowed through both sites causing leachate to breach landfill boundaries, reaching Cripple Creek and to a lesser extent Yosemite Creek.

Blue Mountains City Council has reported these events to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) and the district Public Health Unit, as required. The public should be aware that this has occurred and that these areas should be avoided.

BMCC CEO, Dr Rosemary Dillon, said: “We have an experienced team managing these sites and steps have been taken to mitigate the damage and divert the leachate through the appropriate systems. However, the conditions are still too wet to start any remediation works at the Blaxland landfill.”

“We will continue to work closely with external agencies on these matters to manage this event and protect the environment.”

Stream water testing is being conducted in both directions at both Katoomba and Blaxland sites, and will inform future reporting and actions.

Meanwhile, Cliff Drive, Chelmsford Drive and Leura Cascades are closed indefinitely after a landslide in the area on Sunday, 9 February.

The cost to remediate the affected area, approximately 20 metres wide and 5000sqms overall, is still being determined but is expected to costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Council will be seeking funding assistance from the State and Federal Government in a bid to ensure the area is opened to the public as soon as possible.

Council received hundreds of calls from customers seeking assistance, following more than 550mm of rain between 7 to 9 February. Many of the issues raised resulted from private infrastructure being unable to cope with the deluge.

Council will be undertaking slope stability surveying in the coming weeks to determine if there is any further movement of the embankment at Leura, following the landslide. The surveying will inform a risk assessment and management plan for the area.

“The priority at this time is to ensure public safety, enable access to restore power infrastructure and to determine the potential to rehabilitate Leura Cascades and Chelmsford Drive,” Dr Dillon said.

Cliff Drive, from Jersey Avenue at Leura to Merriwa Street at Katoomba, remains closed indefinitely.

View the map that provides an overview of the walking track closures at Leura Cascades

Prince Henry Cliff Walk (from Echo Pt to Gordon Falls) is open, however visitors are advised that track conditions have changed as a result of high rainfall, storms and flooding. Infrastructure has been damaged, tracks may be slippery and wet. Minor flood debris may obstruct tracks and trip hazards encountered.

 
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