Peakhurst Light Industrial Stormwater Harvesting and Re-use Scheme
Georges River Council, with funding support from the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative and the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, has constructed a stormwater harvesting and reuse scheme within the Hurstville golf course. The construction of the $2.6 Million project began in the middle of 2012 and was completed in February 2014.
How does it work?
Stormwater is harvested from catchments to the north, east and west of the course and stored in a pond located in the area west of the 4th hole.
The stormwater is collected from an existing pipe that runs under the 13th fairway between Roberts Avenue and Lime Kiln Bay. From there, water is pumped into a bioretention system that filters out sand, sediment and other substances before entering the storage pond. The water then undergoes further treatment to remove any bacteria before it is used to irrigate the golf course.
What does it look like?
As well as the bioretention system and storage pond, the scheme includes a small wetland that serves as a water hazard in front of the third green. Each of these elements has been designed by Council’s consultant team, which includes engineering, landscape design and irrigation specialists, and will not only improve the condition of the course but also its look and feel.
Why is Council doing it?
The scheme has a number of positive impacts on the golf course and also benefits the natural environment. Apart from improving the look of the course it also enhances its capacity to withstand long dry summers by providing a reliable source of irrigation water which is sufficient to irrigate all the greens and tees within the course. The scheme will also save more than 20 million litres of drinking water that is currently used to irrigate the course.
From an environmental perspective, the scheme prevents sediment, excess nutrients and gross pollutants (i.e. litter and rubbish) from entering Lime Kiln Bay and the Georges River. Over 30,000 trees, plants and shrubs were planted which also provide important habitat for native animals.
The Peakhurst Light Industrial Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Scheme is an example of a Water Sensitive Urban Design initiative.
Key principles of Water Sensitive Urban Design
The key principles of Water Sensitive Urban Design as stated in the Urban Stormwater – Best Practice Environmental Management Guidelines, are:
- Protect natural systems – protect and enhance natural water systems within urban developments
- Integrate stormwater treatment into the landscape – use stormwater in the landscape by incorporating multiple use corridors that maximise the visual and recreational amenity of developments
- Protect water quality – improve the quality of water draining from urban developments into the receiving environment
- Reduce run-off and peak flows – reduce peak flows from urban development by local detention measures and minimise impervious areas
- Add value while minimising development costs – minimise the drainage infrastructure cost of the development.
Click here to find out more about Water Sensitive Urban Design.
Dairy Creek Bank Restoration Project
Dairy Creek is a tributary of the Lime Kiln Bay catchment in the lower reaches of the Georges River in the suburb of Oatley. The Dairy Creek catchment is urbanised, mostly residential, and is approximately 176 hectares in size. Urban creeks are subject to changed hydrological regimes as the increased area of hard surfaces within the catchment leads to greater volumes of water reaching drainage lines at a faster velocity. As a consequence, erosion of urban creeks is a common phenomenon.
The NSW Soil Conservation Service was engaged by Council to develop designs for the works, which are aimed at providing maximum environmental protection whilst minimising site disturbance and recognising the importance of protecting the existing assets and previous bank protection works.
The plan incorporates the creation of an in-channel bench that eases the pressure of intense flows during heavy rain events, whilst utilising artificial channel confinements with sandstone armoured banks to control bank erosion.
The works will restore and stabilise 40 metres of stream bank which has been damaged by erosion below the gross pollutant trap located on Dairy Creek. The bank levels and riparian zone will be further stabilised with over 1,000 locally occurring indigenous plants to revegetate the disturbed areas within the 40 metre rehabilitation zone.
Webbs Dam Upgrade
Georges River Council is responsible for the management of Webb’s Dam which incorporates a bioretention system and accompanying landscaping works.
This project was supported by funding received from the NSW Environmental Trust under the Lower Georges River Sustainability Initiative, the NSW Government's Waste and Sustainability Incentive Payment Program, and the Sydney Metropolitan Catchment Management Authority’s Botany Bay Water Quality Improvement Program.
Stage 1 of the project concept and works were developed in consultation with the local community and the Lugarno Progress Association resulting in a Landscape Masterplan which guided the staged upgrade of the dam. This was completed and officially unveiled on the 16 March 2013.
Details of works
When the dam was drained to enable works to commence, some of the native animals living in the dam including turtles and eels were relocated to other wetlands.
The works included the construction of a bioretention system in the eastern section of the dam which is designed to filter and treats stormwater flowing the system into the dam. Water which flows into the system via the existing stormwater pipes and sandstone forebays, is stripped of sediment and gross pollutants such as plastic bottles and aluminium cans. The water then drains through the bioretention system, which includes layers of sand and other media to remove finer sediment and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. The nutrients will then be used by the plants and small trees throughout the system. Water will not pool more than approximately 20cm within the basin and will drain away rapidly. During larger storm events, water will overflow from the basin into the adjoining dam.
In the short term this treated water will help reduce the incidence of algal blooms in the dam and enable the quality of remnant bushland downstream to be maintained while Council’s long term vision for the treated stormwater is to irrigate adjoining sports fields.
Landscaping works, whch included the planting of over 8000 native plants along the southern edge of the dam, were designed to improve the amenity the area: in particular improve public safety within the vicinity of the picnic area and barbeques.
Upper Boggywell Creek Water Quality Improvement Scheme
Council is proposing to reinstate a creek line, Upper Boggywell Creek, and its natural environment at Gannons Park, a large (35 hectare) regional park in Peakhurst.
As funding is incrementally secured, the project will be completed in several stages and involve extensive community consultation. Improvements to the ‘green grid’ of parklands in the Georges River area are a priority for both Council and for the Metropolitan Greenspace Program, which is an initiative of the NSW Department of Planning.
This project was identified as a priority by the former Hurstville City Council as part of its Community Strategic Plan to 2021, and complements the works underway to the shared pathway which forms part of the Gannons Park Landscape Masterplan (2011).
The reinstatement of the Upper Boggywell Creek in Gannons Park will create a waterway that will have many long-term benefits for the environment.It will help filter and improve the quality of water flowing into the Georges River through the park, and some of the water will be used to irrigate the sports fields in Upper Gannons Park. In addition, the project will enhance the visual appeal and provide opportunities for the community to learn about this sustainable initiative that includes creation of a waterway environment that includes bioretention, wetlands, creek lines, and swales.