Using green infrastructure to fight extreme weather

Thursday, 30 June, 2022 | Supplied by: Urban Utilities

Using green infrastructure to fight extreme weather

South East Queensland water management company Urban Utilities has announced that it will invest over $65 million in a project to reduce the impacts of extreme weather on the wastewater network in the Northgate and Banyo areas.

The project will begin construction in July. As part of the Cannery Creek Upgrade, a new wetland will be created that filters and controls wet weather flows from the wastewater network, which can be affected by the rainy weather in the area, thus protecting nearby properties and introducing liveability and environmental benefits.

The project was shaped through collaboration between local residents, with a group of 23 local parties in a Community Planning Team (CPT) helping to develop community, environmental and operational outcomes.

Urban Utilities Executive Leader Integrated Solutions Chris Bulloch said that the upgrade’s use of green engineering was useful to manage the sub-tropical region’s intense rain.

“Northgate and Banyo are low-lying areas of Brisbane, which means the local wastewater network can become inundated with stormwater during extreme weather, causing wet weather overflows which can sometimes impact private properties,” Bulloch said.

“While this part of our network has capacity to cater for growth, the impact of climate change means we’re likely to experience more frequent and intense rainfall, so we need to think innovatively about how we deal with water management.

“Urban Utilities is committed to working with our customers and communities to help create solutions that not only manage water sustainably, but add value to our city and its communities. By working with the local residents, we’ve come up with an approach that is better for the community and environment, and is more cost-effective than traditional engineering solutions.”

The project will use a mix of green and traditional infrastructure including a wet weather pump station, and a 2 km pipeline that will divert flows to the new wetland and away from private properties.

“During wet weather, the diluted wastewater will be screened and then diverted along the underground pipeline to a new wetland and bioretention basins, which will act like nature’s filter, trapping sediment and absorbing nutrients,” Bulloch said.

“Nearby, Cannery Creek is fed by stormwater and we’ll rehabilitate it by creating a series of sediment basins to manage and filter flows, to protect downstream waterways and Moreton Bay from the impacts of soil and sediment.

“The design integrates a number of community aspirations including beautifying the creek banks and surrounding area and providing shared paths and seating, to help transform Cannery Creek and provide an area for the community to enjoy.”

Image caption: the upgrade's projected plan.

Bulloch expressed appreciation for the community involvement in the project, with the CPT having shaped the project’s plan.

“We formed a Community Planning Team in 2019 which saw residents collaborate with planners and engineers and they considered a number of options over many workshops and site visits. The community-led design process played a key role in the final concept for the project and we’ll continue to keep the CPT updated as the project progresses.

“We’d also like to thank Brisbane City Council, the Queensland Government and the many other agencies and organisations which have been engaged and contributed to this project so far.”

The project is being delivered with Urban Utilities’ partner Fulton Hogan, and construction is expected to be completed in 2024.

More information about the project is available online:

Phone: 13 26 57
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