Plants key to cleaner water in new watercourse at Glenthorne

Works to improve the quality of the stormwater run-off that flows across Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta is now complete in time for the winter rainfall and run-off season.

The watercourse, which was previously underground for many years, is now once more running above ground.

The park straddles 2 major urban catchments: the Sturt River catchment to the north, and the Field River Catchment to the south.

Historically, the stormwater running across the park and eventually into river catchments has been heavily polluted due to increases in urbanisation and agriculture in the area.

The new watercourse developed for Glenthorne National Park-Ityamaiitpinna Yarta with Water Sensitive SA embraces the concept of biofiltration – a process through which plants absorb the pollutants, which include microrganisms such as fungi and bacteria.

The water that emerges through biofiltration is cleaner, with plants effectively acting as a water filter. In turn, the microrganisms the plants absorb help them to grow and become a food source for a greater diversity of invertebrates, such as insects and spiders.

In the new watercourse, Majors Road stormwater run-off will be filtered through a series of ponds with recent planting of native vegetation to assist with improving water quality.

This vegetation assists with capturing sediment and pollutants before the water then continues through the Glenthorne Hub and further southwards into the park, including the creekline through the nature play space.

A series of structures known as ‘leaky weirs’ built from natural materials such as rocks, logs, soil and vegetation, will slow water flow and improve soil microorganism makeup (known as its biome).

Main South Road stormwater will be captured in a new naturalised catchment including leaky weirs.

These ‘natural’ eco-structures are designed to raise the water level of Glenthorne creek, rehydrate the floodplain and rebuild vital habitat in aquatic and nearby areas.

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