An outcome of the Little Stringybark Creek experiment, which aimed to test if creeks downstream of stormwater drainage can be restored. 100s of rain-gardens that allow to water soak into surrounding soils and be taken up by plants, and rainwater tanks for harvesting, were installed in two suburban catchments. Comparing water quality before and after installation, in experimental streams, and in urban control and reference forested streams, we showed that filtering and harvesting stormwater reduced summer temperatures and reduced concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen, critical contaminants for healthy streams. The reductions were greatest in dry weather, and after small amounts of rain. To achieve water quality similar to forested streams, we need rain-gardens and harvesting systems that catch runoff from nearly every roof and road upstream. Achieving that will require reserving space near pipe outlets to streams for final treatment systems, and finding ways to use the excess water generated by roofs and roads. DOI: 10.1029/2022WR032041
My Raingarden diary
Walsh and Webb (2013) developed a new index of stream condition, LUMaR*, based on their distribution models of 60 families of macroinvertebrates across the Melbourne region. The models allow prediction of the effects of loss (or gain) of forest cover and of conventionally drained urbanization on the occurrence of the 60 families….
In today’s update of my raingarden diary, I report on deliberately increasing our demand for water from our rainwater tank (by disabling the half-flush option on our toilets). Our increase in demand from our tank by 20–25 L a day might seem to go against everything our water authorities tell…
*Note April 2020 – this app didn’t survive the urbanstreams.net server migration well, and needs some work to get it back going again. If you are interested in using it, please contact me here, and I will move it up my list of things to do! The tool that predicts…