Water Sensitive Urban Design
Marrickville Council encourages residents to learn about and apply water sensitive urban design in the management of their properties.
What is Water Sensitive Urban Design?
In the past, urban stormwater drainage systems have been designed primarily to prevent flooding with the view that rainwater should be transported as quickly as possible into the nearest natural waterway.
Unfortunately this water carries with it a range of pollutants including litter, sewer overflows, vehicle emissions, garden fertilizers, animal faeces, silt and vegetation. This puts great stress on the waterway resulting in algal blooms, ecosystem breakdown and polluted rivers and beaches. In addition, a vast quantity of potentially usable water is wasted.
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is most simply defined as the sustainable management of water within urban areas through intelligent and integrated design. It looks at the urban water cycle as a whole, taking into account all three urban water sources: potable water, wastewater, and stormwater.
The aims of Water Sensitive Urban Design are to:
- Reduce runoff flows while minimising on-site flood risk
- Reduce potable water use through the use of efficient fixtures and appliances and through rainwater, stormwater and greywater reuse
- Minimise wastewater generation, treating wastewater to a standard suitable for reuse and/or discharge to receiving waters
- Protect natural systems by treating stormwater before discharge to receiving waters
- Integrate stormwater treatment into the landscape to enhance the recreational and aesthetic quality of the urban environment
What can I do on my property?
- Capture water before it leaves your property from rooftops and hard surfaces using rainwater tanks, swales and rain gardens
- Slow the flow of stormwater through smart landscape design, placing garden beds on contour for passive irrigation
- Implement landscaping and drainage elements that ensure sediments, leaves, grass clippings and nutrients no longer leave your property. Barrier plantings are one way of achieving this
- Reduce or eliminate the use of water soluble fertilisers on your property as these cause algal blooms in waterways
- Plumb rainwater into toilet and laundry to reduce potable water use
Where paving is necessary choose permeable options
For more information on water sensitive urban design contact Council's Water and Catchments Coordinator or phone 9335 2104.