What is a constructed (artificial) wetland?

Constructed (artificial) wetlands are a series of shallow, densely-planted, man-made ponds that help filter stormwater (rainfall runoff from urban surfaces) through physical and biological processes. Wetlands are often described as kidneys of the landscape. Plants found in wetlands help treat (clean) the water by taking up nutrients, which they use to grow. The treated water can then enter back into the stormwater system or be used for irrigation purposes. 

The potential constructed wetland at Dole Reserve will help treat stormwater flowing to Edgars Creek. 

What are the key elements of the potential wetland?

The potential wetland system at Dole Reserve includes:

1. Stormwater from a below ground drain diverted through a pump system to the wetland for treatment.

2. Transfer of cleaned (treated) water back into the stormwater system which flows to the Edgars Creek.

3. Tree planting and landscape improvement works.

4. All aspects of open water storage are designed to the Melbourne Water Guidelines' water safety requirements. 

In the long-term, there is potential for connection into the irrigation system for both Donath and Dole reserve sporting fields, providing irrigation to at least 7 of the 9 ovals and reducing potable water use.

What are the environmental benefits of the potential wetland system?

Wetlands provide a number of benefits for the environment. They help to:

  • Create habitat and increase biodiversity. Planted wetlands attract and provide habitat for water birds, fish, frogs and water bugs. Wetlands also provide important breeding and nursery areas for native fish and frog species.
  • Provide a natural way to treat and remove pollutants (both large and small) from stormwater before it enters our creeks, rivers and oceans.
  • Improve flood protection by detaining (holding) water and releasing it slowly. 
  • Cool the local environment
  • Act as a carbon sink

What are the community benefits of the potential wetland system?

Wetlands provide a number of benefits and add value for the community. They help to:

  • Create greener urban spaces that improve the attractiveness and amenity of an area
  • Provide an opportunity for outdoor passive and active recreation in our suburbs, such as bird watching, picnicking, and photography
  • Improve flood protection - by detaining (holding) water and releasing it slowly
  • Cool the local environment
  • Provide the community with education and volunteer programs like Melbourne Water’s Frog Census and Waterwatch
  • Provide a location for schools and community groups to learn about water sensitive urban design (WSUD) and the benefits of increasing local biodiversity
  • Have the potential to provide an alternative water supply for irrigation of sports grounds, which saves potable (drinking) water use and allows playing fields to be irrigated during the warmer months

What are the safety features of the potential wetland?

The potential wetland will be designed to Melbourne Water standards, including three metre vegetated batters at the edge of the wetland. These batters ensure water gradually gets deeper and deeper over three metres, with dense, vegetation along the edges to prevent entry. While these plants are establishing (growing), a temporary fence will border the wetland to ensure entry is restricted.

Will the potential wetland increase mosquito populations in the area or emit any odour?

The potential wetland will be designed to Melbourne Water standards to avoid increased mosquito populations and odour. 

Mosquitos are a natural component of wetland fauna and the construction of any water body will create a habitat suitable for mosquito breeding and growth. However, a healthy, well vegetated wetland will have a balanced ecosystem and have predators that control mosquito populations.

Council will address the risk of mosquito breeding through:

  • Ensuring all parts of the wetland are well connected to provide access for mosquito predators to all inundated areas of the wetland
  • Providing areas of permanent open water that provide refuges for mosquito predators (even during long dry periods)
  • Ensuring wetland water quality is adequate to support of mosquito predators such as water bugs and fish;
  • Providing a bathymetry (depth of water) that ensures that regular wetting and drying is achieved and water draws down evenly so isolated pools are avoided.
  • Wetlands in Darebin are well managed and maintained and Council have not received feedback that mosquito populations increase.

When is it likely the wetland project will be implemented?

Council is talking to you to help us understand your thoughts on the design of the potential wetland. The information and feedback you give during this community consultation process will help us to plan what a potential wetland could look like. Any potential wetland construction will be subject to available funding in future years.