26 September 2023

Raingarden to filter water in Higgins

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The ACT’s Office of Water is calling for community feedback on plans to build a mini raingarden in Higgins to help improve the quality of stormwater entering Canberra’s lakes and waterways.

Issuing the call, the Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction, Shane Rattenbury said the mini raingarden was the latest initiative of the Environmental Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate’s (EPSDD) ACT Healthy Waterways program.

Mr Rattenbury said the proposed rain garden, open for comment until 13 June, would help tackle the challenge of polluted stormwater leaving urban areas where it concentrated in Canberra’s lakes and ponds leading to blue-green algae blooms.

“Raingardens look like a regular garden on the surface but beneath they help to filter water and reduce sediment and other pollutants from entering the ACT’s lakes, ponds and waterways,” Mr Rattenbury said.

“Kippax Creek in Higgins continues to receive poor quality stormwater from upstream urban areas,” he said.

“The proposed raingarden will help to improve water quality and help the Government better understand the role that these nature-based filters can play across Canberra’s waterways.”

Mr Rattenbury said that while the raingarden would not restore Kippax Creek by itself, it would contribute to improving water quality and provide insight into the ongoing role of nature-based solutions in the ACT.

He said the raingarden would intercept stormwater flowing under O’Sullivan Street, which would then pass through a gross pollutant trap, filtering out litter and larger debris while allowing the water to enter the raingarden.

“The water is then filtered by the raingarden, releasing cleaner water into the stormwater system destined for Kippax Creek,” the Minister for Water said.

Mr Rattenbury said a mini raingarden would also support water plants like sedges and rushes which naturally filter stormwater, and be surrounded by native grasses, herbs, shrubs, and new native tree plantings that would serve as habitat for native animals.

Further information about the proposed raingarden in Higgins can be accessed at this PS News link.

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