Valuing water

Improving water quality

When it rains, the water that runs off roads, driveways and roofs is known as 'stormwater'. Rubbish and pollution from your street will be carried by the stormwater along gutters and drains, to local creeks and rivers, and into the bay.

We clean our streets regularly, install pollutant traps, and more recently, through incorporating Water Sensitive Urban Design practices in our city.

What is Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)?

Water sensitive urban design focuses on the temporary storage of stormwater, at or near its origin, to slow and filter its passage. Instead of going straight to our waterways, stormwater is treated and often used for other purposes such as irrigation. The benefits include improved landscapes and water quality, as well as reduced tap water use.

Examples of WSUD include: raingardens, bio-retention swales, wetlands and rainwater tanks.


A raingarden works like a filter stopping rubbish and other street pollutants from entering our waterways.

Read the Raingardens flyer (pdf, 235KB) for more details.


Wetlands also protect waterways by filtering pollutants through a series of shallow ponds with aquatic plants.

Read the Wetlands flyer (pdf, 400KB) for more details or take a self guided walk around the Afton Street Conservation Park wetland (pdf, 1.8MB).

Afton Street wetland stormwater harvesting project


Stormwater from the Afton Street wetland is now being used for irrigating local sport fields at Maribyrnong Park and Clifton Park, with Aberfeldie Park coming on line in 2016. 

This one million investment will provide up to 20 million litres of treated stormwater each year for irrigation, keeping our sports fields green without using valuable drinking water.

We have been working with City West Water on the design and construction of this system.

How does this stormwater harvesting project work?

1. Stormwater is captured in underground drains from roofs and roads

2. The stormwater flows into the Afton Street Conservation Park Wetland ''
3. A sediment pond traps litter, dirt and grit and aquatic plants absorb nutrients from the water ''
4. The treated stormwater is transferred to a storage pond ''
5. The water is distributed to various locations and used to water grass on the sporting ovals. ''

What does this mean for people who use the ovals?

These sports fields will be irrigated with recycled water from the Afton Street Conservation Park Wetland. You will notice a few changes:

  • Purple pipes will deliver the water from the Afton Street Conservation Park Wetland to each of the sports fields. This water that is collected from our roads is now treated and will be used for watering the grass.
  • No playing at night because that's when we'll be watering with recycled water. This isn’t drinking water so you'll notice signage asking you to stay off the ovals between 11pm and 6am and to not drink the sprinkler water.

  • Green grass all year round even in times of water restrictions, we can water this oval without using our valuable drinking water.

Last updated: Thursday, 20 December 2018, 11:48 PM