Learn how to build a raingarden to protect our ...
Protect waterways with raingardens
Every year 500 billion litres of stormwater is washed off our roofs, driveways and roads when it rains. This stormwater, carrying harmful pollutants, sediment and excess nutrients, enters our creeks, rivers and bays at great speed and force, eroding our waterways and damaging natural aquatic habitat.
On Christmas Day 2011, Melbourne was hit by a storm so severe that 32 billion litres of stormwater flowed into Port Phillip Bay over the next six days. As a result, beaches near the mouth of the Yarra River were found to have elevated bacterial levels and warnings were issued against swimming there.
With more than 300 stormwater drains emptying in to the bay, we cannot escape the fact that stormwater run-off is part of our urban environment. But what can we do to help protect our precious waterways?
Building raingardens at home is a great way for people to make a personal contribution to creating healthier waterways. They are built using native vegetation on layers of sandy soil, so they act as natural filter systems helping to remove harmful pollutants, as well as slowing down the stormwater flow.
Planter boxes and downpipe diversions are among the most common forms of household raingardens. Some of the most amazing raingardens feature trails of pebbles and stones that look like dry river beds, while green roofs are guaranteed to get your house and garden noticed – all the while helping to improve the health of your local waterway.
Besides if Melbourne Water can build one in a bus shelter, then surely you can build one at home?
By Jane Edmanson (3AW gardening presenter and Melbourne Water Raingardens Ambassador)
If you’d like more information, visit www.melbournewater.com.au/raingardens
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