Urrbrae Wetland is a working and teaching wetland in the heart of the suburbs of Mitcham. Situated on the grounds of Urrbrae Agricultural High School in Netherby, Urrbrae Wetland is an example of what can be achieved when local and state governments, and the community work together.
In the early 1990s the City of Mitcham and Urrbrae Agricultural High School were independently investigating a wetland project in the Urrbrae area. Council needed to resolve a flooding problem along Cross Road, while the School wanted to stop frequent flooding on its farmland and broaden its environmental curriculum.A joint working party set about preparing a concept plan for a stormwater detention basin that could be used as an educational facility. After a suitable proposal was agreed upon, designs were then developed, funding secured, and construction started in July 1996. Urrbrae Wetland was officially opened in April 1997 by the Premier John Olsen. Construction was funded by the State Government, former Patawalonga Catchment Water Management Board and Council.
|The Urrbrae Wetlands in 1997||The Urrbrae Wetlands in 2009|
How does it work?
Urrbrae Wetland has been designed as a stormwater detention basin to reduce the frequency of localised flooding for a 1 in 5 year flood event, yet it incorporates many characteristics of a wetland.
The quality of stormwater leaving the wetland is improved to some degree by removing litter and organic material through the trash racks and sediment in the ponds. Other pollutants ‘settle out’ of the water, while some are broken down by ultra-violet radiation from the sun. The figure below explains how the system works.
For more information on the Urrbrae Wetlands, please visit the Urrbrae Wetland Learning Centre site.