Ash Dam Stabilisation


A 240-hectare ash dam adjacent to a decommissioned coal fired power station in South Australia required surface stabilisation to provide the landowners time to plan a dam rehabilitation programme for the site.

Stabilisation was required to prevent ash dust from blowing into a nearby township where it had been affecting residents, stabilisation was required for a minimum 12-month period. The traditional method used to suppress dust onsite was to flood the dam, however, a 15-hectare area, which was topographically higher than the rest of the dam, could not be treated with this method.


Ash dam before soil stabilisation

Managing dust emissions from Ash Dams has traditionally proven to be a challenge for landowners and power station operators. Ash can contain high levels of heavy metals which can cause negative social and environmental impacts if ash dams are left untreated. The fine nature of the ash particle size makes it highly susceptible to being blown some distance from the source. Due to the size and nature of ash dams, stabilising the surface can be a difficult process.



A red plane with barrels ready to be loaded

Vital Chemical engaged a local South Australian aviation company who specialises in rural firefighting to assess the potential to apply Vital Bon-Matt Stonewall (IGD) with an Airtractor 802. 

Product was mixed and then pumped into the aircraft at the airfield increasing the efficiency of the application. Each aircraft was able to achieve on average 50 passes a day (approx. 150,000m2 each) with the total application taking two weeks.




Ash Dam

The application of Vital Bon-Matt Stonewall (IGD) provided the required 12-month stabilisation of the ash dam, preventing dust emissions into the nearby township. Using the Airtractors proved to be an innovative and effective solution in applying Vital Bon-Matt Stonewall to the ash dam. This methodology allowed for the ash dam to be treated in its entirety leading to better results for the client and community.


Vital Bon-Matt Stonewall

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