Stormwater to water street trees

Article image - Stormwater to water street trees The trial is based on experience from similar projects carried out across Australia. Photograph courtesy Luke Galea.

Sunshine Coast Council, Queensland, has joined the growing list of communities around the world providing an innovative way to water street trees.

In May, Golden Beach became the first suburb on the Sunshine Coast to trial a functional, cost-effective and sustainable watering solution.

The trial sees a range of methods implemented to collect and capture stormwater run-off from roads and kerbs, which is redirected to the roots of street trees.

Delivering stormwater and nutrients directly to the trees aims to improve tree growth and survival rate, reduce maintenance costs and reduce the amount of drinkable water used.

Councillor, Terry Landsberg, said this simple initiative would help to improve water and hydrologic quality as well as provide a reliable water source for street trees.

“It’s especially important to keep our established street trees alive, as these provide us with much-needed shade and take so much longer to replace.

“It’s a win-win in my opinion.

“Having the ability to combine street tree planting with irrigation technology that can harvest stormwater that would otherwise run off into our creeks or impact on our local road networks, all while improving tree health and water quality.  

“A number of methods have been designed to reduce the risk of blockage and to be most cost effective for each location, residents may see a garden bed method while others will have underground infrastructure.

“Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, there is no one-size-fits-all approach for a project like this.

“Council will monitor and observe the trial area with the hope to improve and adapt the project to suit other locations across our region.

“The success of the trial will be measured by the health and growth rates of the trees, the storm water levels and the reduction of pollutants in our water.”

Council will monitor and learn from the project so it can be improved and adapted to suit other locations across the Sunshine Coast
in the future.