Peace and quiet for Sydney’s dugongs


A Woolacotts engineering solution will give Sydney’s precious dugongs some important peace and quiet.

Dugongs are large herbivorous marine mammals that can reach lengths of more than three metres and weigh up to 420 kilograms and have a lifespan of more than 70 years.

The mammals have long been hunted for meal and oil. This, in addition to habitat degradation, has meant the species is edging closer to extinction.

Worldwide, only five dugongs are held in captivity, and two of these call Sea Life Sydney Aquarium in Sydney home.

Both dugongs, ‘Pig’ and ‘Wuru’, were orphaned in the wild and could not be re-released following their rescue.

Find out more about Sydney’s dugongs >

Sea Life Aquarium wanted to install a new amenities block at the aquarium. Woolacotts Consulting Engineers was engaged to provide hydraulic services and structural reporting for the amenities area which sits within the floating dugong tank.

These funny looking animals also have an interesting quirk.

“Dugongs are exceptionally sensitive to noise and vibrations,” said Principal Hydraulic Engineer, Ian Stalker.

“That’s what made this project so interesting,” he added.

The sewer pumping station and hydraulic system had to be acoustically treated so the pump vibrations and noise would not upset the dugongs.

Woolacotts Consulting Engineers has played a key role in shaping many of Australia’s community and recreation facilities. If you would like to discuss your upcoming community infrastructure project, contact our sector leader Clare Woods.