Storm water channels in a water sensitive world

Storm water channels are not water sensitive infrastructure. Among other things, they are pollutant super-highways. While there is the hydrological knowledge and engineering expertise to remove them from the urban landscape, there is not the socio-political will to do so. Water sensitive urban design (WSUD), and fellow storm water management practices were designed to mitigate the more extreme aspects of storm water channel functioning. The infrastructure associated with WSUD, such as wetlands and rain gardens, tend to operate off the main channel and at large scales. My PhD research is a pragmatic response to the enduring nature of these features in the urban landscape. The research adopts the nature-based solution approach, essentially an iteration of WSUD, to bring small scale infrastructure into storm water channels and to assess if such interventions can positively influence water quality outcomes. It is hoped that minor changes to the form of storm water channels will bring moderate, but meaningful, change to their function.

This presentation will show the results of the case studies used as inspiration for possible interventions. The interventions selected, including their design and installation, will be presented. In addition to outlining basic results of a year of baseline water quality testing, the testing regime designed to assess the water quality changes associated with the installed infrastructure will described.