Belle Eden drain to be transformed in to waterway

belle eden waterway
This rock lined drain in Belle Eden Park will be transformed in to a thriving natural waterway in an innovative Council project.

An innovative approach to improving the quality of stormwater runoff into Baldwin Swamp will see a traditional drain transformed in to a thriving natural waterway.

The Belle Eden Park Waterway Naturalisation project will capture and treat stormwater runoff from planned developments, improve stormwater quality that ultimately drains to Baldwin Swamp and provide an area and facilities for the community to enjoy.

The approach – which will be a first for the Bundaberg Region – has seen Council departments from planning, engineering and parks working together to develop the idea.

Mayor Jack Dempsey said the Belle Eden Park Waterway Naturalisation project was an example of Council’s drive to take on innovative solutions that create better community outcomes.

“The concept for this idea started when we had two large residential developments approved in this area,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“To comply with the State Planning Policy, new developments are required to implement infrastructure that improves the quality of stormwater runoff.

belle eden waterway
The Belle Eden Park Waterway Naturalisation project is now under consultation but could look something like this example of Small Creek, Ipswich. SOURCE: Ipswich First

“We saw the opportunity, so close to Baldwin Swamp, to take a simple drain that offers very little value to the community or local natural environment and make it something more.

“In an engineering sense all that was required was a drainage solution.

“What this project will do is provide even better results for drainage and create a space that can be enjoyed by the entire community while improving environmental outcomes.

“And better yet, this brand-new waterway will not be paid for by ratepayers. Council is administering the project on behalf of the developers through their water quality contributions.”

The Belle Eden Park Waterway Naturalisation project is currently in planning stages with nearby residents to be consulted on its design later this month.

The end result will ‘treat’ stormwater runoff from nearby residential and agricultural properties through natural processes, including the establishment of native plants.

“The Belle Eden Park waterway will be designed to treat an additional 280 lots, accommodating approved developments in the surrounding areas,” Mayor Dempsey said.

“Stormwater will pass through the naturalised waterway reducing the amount of chemicals and pollutants ending up in Baldwin Swamp.

“Once established, the waterway will also have significantly less ongoing maintenance costs than a traditional drain, reducing the whole of life cost.”

Divisional representative Cr Judy Peters said Council would further support the project by adding increased community facilities in the area.

“At the moment within this residential area we have a number of pathways that aren’t connected to each other or nearby parks.

“Through this Belle Eden Park Waterway Naturalisation project Council will connect the pathways with each other as well as the waterway and nearby Gum Nut Park.

“Shelters and seats will also be added to these areas.

“It’s wonderful to see this progressive approach to drainage moving forward which has a significantly higher community benefit than a concrete or rock-lined drain.”

This Bundaberg Regional Council project has been funded with support from the Federal Government Local Roads and Community Infrastructure project.