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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Bringing the springs back to life

DCSCA has proposed a joint project with the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) to revive the mineral springs from which Clifton Springs gets its name.

Clifton Springs in its heyday 1890
We believe that at least 3 springs have their outlets between the high and low water marks on the Clifton Springs beach. Originally, they were well above the water line and were the focus of the Clifton Springs spa in the 19th and early 20th centuries, where people from the Geelong and Melbourne regions came to "take the waters" for their alleged health-giving properties.

More recently, the water from the springs has been declared unfit for drinking - ironic, given the early claims that it improved drinkers' health! For this reason, the area has been allowed to deteriorate. Coastal erosion continues to take its toll on the site (see the two photos), with the result that the springs outlets are now submerged by the incoming tide.

Spring into the future?
DCSCA would like the historic springs that gave Clifton Springs its name to “live on” and enhance the experience of visitors to the area. More specifically, we would like the spring water outlets to be revived as an historic feature, visible from the planned boardwalk that will go around the nearby promontary.

We are proposing a three-stage process to revive the springs:
1. Identify and record the location of the spring water outlet (at low tide!). Place a temporary 'collar' (e.g. a concrete tube) over each outlet, so that the spring water discharges above the high water level.
2. Ensure that the boardwalk offers suitable points from which to view all of the spring water outlets and include pointers to each spring, plus information about them, in the fabric of the boardwalk.
3. On completion of the boardwalk, replace the temporary 'collars' with more attractive structures. Invite local artists (e.g. sculptors, glass artists) to submit expressions of interest in creating one or more of these features; and invite local schools, groups, clubs and residents to suggest design ideas.

Photos:
* SpringDale Collectables on Facebook
* A. S. Miner Geotechnical (2011) Coastal erosion and stability study: Clifton Springs. Report to City of Greater Geelong . p22.

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