Project Update

Thank you for your feedback.

We have summarised what we heard during the consultation carried out in March 2023, and you can now view the Community Consultation Summary.

This feedback, along with technical design considerations, will inform the final detail design which is expected to be completed mid 2023.

Construction is planned to commence in 2024-2026, subject to funding.

About the project

We have developed a concept plan for improvements to Reaburn Reserve in Brunswick. The plan includes a major stormwater harvesting system.

A new stormwater harvesting system at Reaburn Reserve would redirect stormwater from local streets. The water would go through a raingarden for treatment and storage. The treated water can then be used to irrigate our parks in our neighbourhood and save up to 24.4 Mega litres of drinking water each year!

Improvements to landscaping and access to the reserve have also been included as part of the design.

Scroll down to explore the project further.

Concept Plan

The concept plan is informed by what we heard from the community and the Integrated Water Management Strategy 2040. It includes:

  • A large raingarden
  • A storage tank for stormwater harvesting
  • New canopy trees
  • Garden beds with flowering plants
  • Planted mounds
  • Access ramps
  • Walking paths around the raingarden
  • Park furniture
  • A gathering space with seating and shelter
  • Saving up to 24.4 Mega liters of drinking water per year by using harvested stormwater for irrigation instead of drawing from the mains water supply.

Click on the spots below to explore the plan.

The concept plan for this project is informed by the wider consultation we did in 2020-21 on the Brunswick Central Parklands project.

During this consultation we heard from the community that Reaburn Reserve is under used, and that the community would like to see:


Merri-bek City Council is committed to becoming a water sensitive city.

Our Integrated Water Management Strategy 2040 (Endorsed 2020) outlines outcomes for achieving healthy waterways and resilient and liveable landscapes.

The concept design has been informed by consultation undertaken in 2020-2021 for the Brunswick Central Parklands Masterplan project.

During this consultation we heard from the community that Reaburn Reserve is under used, and that the community would like to see:

  • more trees
  • more shade
  • more nature and diversity
  • A non-potable water supply for irrigation to green surrounding open spaces

For more details on what we heard, you can view the Brunswick Central Parklands Consultation Summaries in the Document Library

The large raingarden will capture and treat stormwater from surrounding streets. This water will be used to irrigate local parks and open spaces before it eventually enters Moonee Ponds Creek.

A raingarden is a specially designed garden bed which filters and cleans stormwater. The raingarden is positioned so that water runoff from downpipes, roadsides, driveways, and other hard surfaces flows into the raingarden. Once in the raingarden, the water can infiltrate down through the soil, slowing down the movement of the water and filtering out pollution in the process.

The treated water can then flow through pipes below the raingarden back into the main stormwater system, or into a water tank for collection. This is called stormwater harvesting.

Raingardens can be any shape or size to suit the location or needs of the project. They are constructed with layers of soil for filtration, gravel for drainage and plants that can tolerate both extreme wet and dry conditions.

Raingardens help to protect our creeks and rivers by replenishing groundwater, reducing the stormwater intensity, and improving water quality.

A raingarden incorporates a variety of native plants that have been specially selected for their ability to treat polluted stormwater biologically. These plants form the ‘first line of defence' by trapping suspended sediments in the soils where heavy metals and contaminants bind to the soils and, over time, degrade and become harmless. The plants also absorb some of the nutrients and water for their own growth which assists in reducing the nutrient load and transferring water through the landscape via evapo-transpiration.
The soil used within the raingarden forms the ‘second line of defence’. Microbes living within the surrounding soils, good algae and micro-organisms living on plant roots all work to clean the stormwater. This cleaning function occurs as these organisms take in water and absorb the nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen) for their own growth, hence protecting natural waterways from these excess loads.

As the stormwater infiltrates the soils, sediments and gross pollutants are further trapped before the water enters the drain connected to the raingarden. This drain then directs the treated stormwater back into the stormwater system and on to the nearest Creek.

The water, filtered through the raingarden, will be piped into water storage tanks. This harvested and treated water will be used to irrigate parks and open space in the neighbourhood including :

  • Reaburn Reserve
  • A G Gillon Oval
  • Brunswick Park
  • Clifton Oval
  • Gilpin Park

This project will save up to 24.4 Mega litres of drinking water per year by using harvested stormwater for irrigation instead of drawing from the mains water supply.

The raingarden and underground tank will treat stormwater runoff from a catchment area of approximately 30 hectares. The runoff will come from residential properties and roads extending north as far as Hope Street.

Pollutants such as Phosphorus, Nitrogen and suspended solids will be removed from the stormwater as it moves through the raingarden.

The treated water from the raingarden then will be further treated by Ultra-violet (UV) disinfection for irrigation of the local sportsfield and parks.

We heard from the community that Reaburn Reserve is lacking in shade and interest, and does not have a clear purpose. The community enjoy the availability of this space as an off leash dog park and would like to see more trees, planting and nature in the local area.

Locating the raingarden in Reaburn Reserve enhances the local biodiversity and provides a complementary use to existing recreational uses.

The proposed location of the raingarden on the south side of the reserve has been carefully investigated by our stormwater experts. This location has suitable existing conditions to achieve the best natural filtration of the stormwater.

The location :

  • is relatively flat
  • has good access for construction and on-going maintenance
  • is close to where the water can be used after it is harvested, to irrigate parks and open space.
  • is large enough to accommodate a large raingarden and an underground storage tank
  • has a stable urban catchment upstream which is of a good size
  • does not contain other underground services (gas, electricity, telecommunications, etc.) which would cause conflicts for development.

Yes, absolutely.

The park is currently designated by Merri-bek’s Local Laws as a dog off-leash area.

Temporary fencing will be used to keep dogs out of the raingarden while the plants and vegetation establish.

Once vegetation is established, we will remove the temporary fencing.

Following feedback from the community, followed by the completion of the detailed design of the stormwater harvesting, Council will then seek external grant funding for the construction of the system. Once the budget is confirmed, we will then go to tender for the construction of the project. It is anticipated that work will begin around 2025-2027 (subject to external funding). The bulk earthworks will take approximately 9 months and the plant establishment up to 2 years.