DustTamer Wind Fence delivers results

Published: Tuesday, 20 February 2024 at 8:00:11 AM

In April 2023, Mid West Ports contracted Dust Solutions International Pty Ltd (DSI) to install a 90 metre long DustTamer™ fence along Marine Terrace as part of a port-wide program of dust improvement initiatives.

The fence is the first of its type in Australia installed at a port.

Preliminary monitoring data from the DustTamer™ fence are demonstrating very good results with PM10 concentrations downwind of the fence reduced by 50%.

Real-time monitors (e-samplers) are being used to compare PM10 concentrations upwind and downwind of the fence, during southerly wind conditions.  Results prior to the fence being in place have been compared with results following fence construction. 

Data indicates that PM10 concentrations downwind of the fence have reduced by 50%, peak PM10 concentrations have largely been eliminated and the fence is acting to reduce background dust generated from areas south of Marine Terrace.

Mid West Ports CEO, Damian Tully said “the DustTamer™ fence is displaying extremely positive results, and with the windy summer months upon us, we look forward to further confirming these trends.

“During 2022/23, Mid West Ports spent $1.1 million on dust reduction initiatives.  Our monitoring data is showing that we are seeing an improvement in air quality, confirming our approach to reducing dust emissions is working”, Mr Tully said.

DSI representative, Dave McMillan said, “The DustTamer™ fence has been custom-designed to withstand wind speeds of over 180km/hr. It aims to minimise wind impacts by maintaining "balanced air pressure" on both sides of the fence, this will reduce particle uptake from the sheltered stockpile and rail corridor from being carried into the Fishing Boat Harbour.”

The DustTamer™ fence is one of many air quality improvement projects that have been completed in the last 12 months, with numerous other projects still in the delivery phase.  Projects include wind and dust modelling study to inform initiatives, installation of a dust-reducing cascade chute to Berth 4 loading operations, dry-fogging installation to Berth 5 loading operations, dust hood installations to the common user truck unloader, dust reduction spray bars and baffle curtains to the iron-ore circuit, dust extraction system review to inform improvements, and collaboration with customers to implement management plans and procedures which align with Mid West Ports vision.

MWPA’s air quality monitoring network demonstrates PM10 dust concentrations have declined since 2021, as a result of these dust reduction initiatives.    

Improving air quality will remain an ongoing focus for Mid West Ports as it continues to support the regions economic development through trade facilitation.

Supporting info:

Monitoring data comparison is taken from November 2022 to January 2023 (pre- DustTamer™ fence) and November 2023 to January 2024 (with DustTamer™ fence).

Particulate matter, also known as particle pollution or PM, is a term that describes extremely small solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in air. Particulate matter can be made up of a variety of components including nitrates, sulfates, organic chemicals, metals, soil or dust particles, and allergens (such as fragments of pollen or mould spores).  Airborne PM10 can also be recorded as a result of bushfires, sea spray and vehicle exhausts.

PM10 concentrations are particles with a diameter of 10 micrometres or less. 

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