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Rain Gardens

How do Rain Gardens Work?

Rain gardens work by filtering the stormwater as it flows down through the plants and soil into a drainage pipe at the base. Leaves and litter stay at the surface where they break down or can be collected later. Silt and oils are trapped in the soil where soil microbes break them down over time. Nutrients are used by the plants for growth.

Rain gardens are very flexible in where they can fit, what the edges look like, how big they are, what the plants look like – they really can fit the surrounding landscape.

How Rain Garden works  

What is the Tracey Avenue Stormwater Catchment?

The Tracey Avenue stormwater catchment is outlined in red on the map below. Rainfall in the catchment flows off roofs and roads into a network of underground stormwater drainage pipes, shown in blue. This stormwater flows through the pipes into River Torrens, and then ultimately into Gulf St Vincent.

To help clean the stormwater before it flows into the Torrens, and to improve the amenity of streets in the catchment, the Tracey Avenue stormwater catchment was selected by council in 2015 for construction of streetscape rain gardens.  The rain gardens will filter the stormwater, reducing the amount of pollutants reaching the Torrens and the Gulf, improve the health of street side vegetation, increase the amount of plants in the streetscape, and help to reduce urban heat island effects.

Tracey Avenue Stormwater Catchment

Why Rain Gardens?

Our established suburbs typically have large areas of roofs, driveways, roads, car parks and other hard, paved surfaces. Most of the rain that falls on these surfaces doesn't soak into the ground – it runs off into the stormwater drainage system. This stormwater carries everything it washes off the ground – like litter, leaves, silt, oils and nutrients. Rain gardens clean the stormwater and can allow a little to soak into the ground. They support healthy plants, they look good, and they can even create local cool spots as the plants use the water captured in the rain garden to grow.  Rain gardens can be built into existing streets, in the verges (between the footpath and the road), or into the roads themselves.

Rain gardens can be retrofitted into streetscapes located either in verges or within roads themselves creating green spaces in the landscape that also provide stormwater treatment, soften the landscape, reduce urban heat island effects and can promote infiltration into local soils. 

Where can I see already established Rain Gardens?

Charles Sturt have constructed rain gardens in the following locations, with more being implemented each year. 

  • Ross Avenue Reserve
  • Hartley Road and Jarman Ave

Hartley Road Raingarden

Ross Avenue Raingarden

 The rain gardens use plants such as:

  • Atriplex Semibaccata (Australian Saltbush)
  • Juncus Pallidus (Great soft-rush)
  • Carex Appressa (Tall Sedge)
  • Lomandra Longifolia (Spiny-head mat-rush)

What other locations will Rain Gardens be installed?

Rain gardens are being proposed for some Greville Avenue intersections and one in Thistle Ave in the 2018/19 financial year. 

Greville Ave and Collingwood Ave Concept(1359 kb

Greville Ave and Flinders Parade Concept(1277 kb)

Greville Ave and Nelson Ave Concept Plan(1500 kb)

Thistle Ave Concept Plan(707 kb)

For more information, please contact Carmine on 8408 1111.

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