Plants key to cleaner water in new watercourse at Glenthorne

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.