What is happening at Dunstan reserve?

Merri-bek City Council is planning to construct its fifth major stormwater harvesting system at Dunstan Reserve in Brunswick West. This project intends to divert stormwater from local areas for treatment and storage and then use the treated water to irrigate the ovals and community gardens at Dunstan Reserve.

Stormwater runoff from approximately 50 hectares of residential area will be diverted into a raingarden in the north-east of Dunstan Reserve. The runoff will be filtered as it percolates through the raingarden (a sandy vegetated area) and will then drain into an underground tank. Water will be drawn from the tank, disinfected by Ultra Violet light treatment, and then used to water the ovals and community gardens. The raingarden will be planted with native plant species that will increase the biodiversity of the park and provide habitat and food for insects and birds.

The system is designed to save up to 10 million litres of drinking water each year.

Before: After:

There is a larger version of the Concept Plan in the Document Library.

Next steps

We are currently developing a detailed design of the plan.

Based on your feedback the following recommendations and changes will be undertaken as part of future stages of the project:

    • We will develop a construction management plan that specifies how the existing infrastructure will be managed during construction. This includes the footpath (main entry to the park), gym, trees and seating,
    • We will develop a maintenance plan. This will cover the schedule and scope of maintenance work, budget and expected asset lifecycle (i.e. when assets will need to be replaced).
    • We will include educational signage (subject to budget). These provide information on materials, water filtration and raingarden function.
    • We will adjust the shape of the raingarden slightly. This provides maintenance vehicles with better access to the community garden and the park.
    • We will tell relevant units in Council about the renewal of the shelter and discuss budgeting.

    Requests that are outside the scope of this project will be raised with the relevant Council units:

    • Access to a public toilet
    • Maintenance of open space
    • Flooding issues
    • Rectification of asphalt.

    What are the benefits of this project?

    • Enhanced local amenity through the proposed raingarden and dry creek bed, new footpath and sitting area.
    • Increased natural cooling and reduction in the heat island effect
    • Sustainable watering options for the sports field and community gardens (saving approximately 10 million litres of drinking water per year)
    • Slowed down stormwater run-off will help relieve pressure on the creek and reduce erosion.
    • Treated urban stormwater runoff through natural systems before the stormwater enters Moonee Ponds Creek and ultimately Port Phillip Bay. This will treat 10 million litres of surplus of stormwater flows, remove 10 tonnes of suspended solids, 15 kg of Phosphorus, and 86 kg of Nitrogen per annum
    • Improved habitat for a range of animals such as bugs, insects, invertebrates, frogs, waterbirds and reptiles.
    • Enhanced the diversity of local flora (plants).
    • Self-guided interpretive signage will share an understanding of the harvesting element, the ecological function of the system, and local biodiversity.