Water management

Changes to our climate and increased development place pressure on our water cycle. This has serious implications for water security, stormwater quality, flooding, groundwater quality, wastewater and waterway health.

You can find out more in this video about Integrated Water Management.

Our Integrated Water Strategy recognises all elements of the water cycle are linked. It considers the opportunities available to us and the community, so that we use water wisely.

The strategy outlines the vision and steps needed to become a water sensitive city by 2040. 

Rain gardens

A rain garden is a vegetated area that removes pollutants from stormwater runoff.

Rain water flows into the garden bed and filters through a layer of engineered soil. The clean water is collected by slotted pipes and directed back into the traditional drainage system.

The surface traps litter, leaves and sediment while the soil helps to filter and breakdown microscopic pollutants such as nutrients, heavy metals and hydrocarbons.

Rain gardens filter pollutants from frequent low intensity showers (95% of all stormwater runoff). Traditional drainage systems (pits and pipes) are still required to cater for large storms to prevent flooding.

cross section of a rain garden

Watch the video to learn how to build your own rain garden.


Gross pollutant traps

Gross Pollutant Traps (GPTs) are located within reserves or parks to remove solid waste from the drainage system before it enters creeks, rivers and the sea.

GPTs trap solid waste such as litter and coarse sediment and remove large, non-biodegradable pollutants.

Soakwells and sump pits

A soakwell is an underground tank with angled holes in the side walls and base, allowing water to seep away without causing damage to surrounding areas. Typically, rain water from a roof travels via stormwater piping to a soakwell, gently seeping into the soil.

The main purpose of the soakwell is to direct the stormwater into the soil. A sump pit collects rubbish at the bottom to avoid rubbish entering the drainage pipes connected.

Additional resources

Make every drop count

Find out how to be water wise on the make every drop count website.

Stormwater permit requirement

Find out about what permits you might need on our stormwater page.