Lake Tuggeranong Catchment

Nine priority projects have been chosen for the Tuggeranong catchment. They include rain gardens, a pond and a wetland, potential use of stormwater for irrigation and an in-lake research project.

  • Lake Tuggeranong and Jerrabomberra Wetlands will be part of a three year in-lake water quality research project.
  • An estimated $27 million will be invested in the catchment over three years.
  • Research indicates the combined projects will remove 21% of total suspended solids, 15% of total phosphorus and 8% of total nitrogen from stormwater inflows to the Lake.
  • An ancillary concrete drain running from Erindale to Isabella Pond will be restored to a natural creek.

Water quality monitoring and analysis by technical experts of potential water quality infrastructure within the Tuggeranong catchment and also within-lake interventions has identified that intervening closer to the source of pollutants in the catchment will give the greatest benefit in receiving waters like Lake Tuggeranong and in turn the Murrumbidgee River.

Proposed priority projects

Rain garden and potential stormwater use– Chirnside Circuit, Kambah

The proposed rain garden will be established in open space south of the Kambah West District Playing Fields near Drakeford Drive. The existing cycleway will not be affected. While some trees may need to be removed to allow for construction, the rain garden and associated landscaping will improve the overall ecology and amenity of the site.

Swale, pond and rain garden and potential stormwater use – Athllon Drive between Langdon Ave and Fincham Crescent, Wanniassa

The proposed swale with accompanying rain garden and pond will be located adjacent to St Anthony’s Primary School near Athllon Drive. Some of the captured and treated stormwater may be used to irrigate Wanniassa Playing Fields. The proposed construction includes understorey planting beneath existing trees which will add to the natural habitat of the area.

Rain garden – Stranger Pond, Isabella Plains

The proposed rain garden will help remove sediments and nutrients from stormwater before it flows into Upper Stranger Pond. The area will be landscaped to incorporate vegetation and understorey planting beneath existing trees. Depending on conditions, some of the water from the pond may be used to help irrigate Isabella Plains Neighbourhood Oval and nearby playing fields.

Wetland – Isabella Pond, Drakeford Drive, Monash

The proposed project will involve constructing a wetland on the edge of Isabella Pond and making changes to the weir to increase the length of time water takes to move through the pond. These improvements will remove sediments from stormwater that enters Lake Tuggeranong via the pond. This work will be coordinated with proposed work to upgrade the Isabella Weir spillway for flood purposes.

Swale –Corlette Crescent (Monash) to Isabella Pond

The proposed project will involve the conversion of part of the concrete channel between Corlette Street, Monash and Isabella Pond into a swale. The vegetation in the swale will help treat stormwater before it enters the pond, as well as increase the diversity of natural habitat in the area. The swale would occupy a slightly wider area compared to the current concrete channel.

Rain garden and potential stormwater use - open space between Isabella Drive and Kirkcaldie Circuit, Chisholm

The proposed rain garden will be located in the open space between Kirkcaldie Circuit and Isabella Drive in the suburb of Chisholm. It may combine the rain garden with an irrigation system so that captured and treated stormwater can be used to water the Chisholm District playing fields. While some existing trees will need to be removed, the project includes landscaping and planting that will add to the natural amenity of the area.

Rain gardens - Fadden Pines Reserve, Fadden

The two proposed rain gardens will take advantage of open space between Isabella Drive and Coyne Street, Fadden. The area will be landscaped to incorporate vegetation and filtering media such as geo-sand to remove nutrients and sediment. The rain gardens will be positioned to minimise removal of existing trees and leave a large landscaped area as a recreational space for the local community.

Pond and potential stormwater use - between Kett Street and Drakeford Drive, Kambah

The proposed project adjacent to the Kambah East District Playing Fields consists of a pond, with potential for an irrigation system to use the stormwater that is captured. The pond will be located in open space between the playing fields and Drakeford Drive just below the Burns Club. It will involve landscaping such as understorey planting to enhance the existing open space.

In-lake Research Project – Lake Tuggeranong and Jerrabomberra Creek

Lake Tuggeranong and Jerrabomberra Creek will be part of a three year cross-catchment research project. The project will improve understanding of treatment options, including a trial of sediment curtains and bubblers in Lake Tuggeranong and an earth bank to control wetland wetting and drying as a method to improve water quality and control carp at Jerrabomberra Wetlands.

Catchment Facts

  • Comprises two arms - Kambah/Wanniassa which drains from the north, and Tuggeranong Creek which drains from the south-east.
  • Tuggeranong Creek changes from a natural creek to a series of concrete drains and stormwater pipes at the Monaro Highway. From Lake Tuggeranong it flows as a natural creek to the Murrumbidgee River.
  • The lake was established to trap soil and debris to improve the quality of water flowing into the Murrumbidgee River.
  • It was also designed as a setting for the Town Centre, with recreation and landscape values including bicycle paths, parkland, swimming, fishing and non-motorised boating.
  • The lake water comprises stormwater discharge from urban and rural areas.
  • 63% of land use in the catchment is urban which significantly affects natural processes such as water soaking into soils and the type of particles (chemicals etc) washed into creeks.
Total Area – 66.63 km2

Land Use Zone

Area (km2)

Area (ha)

Area (%)

Pervious Area

31.92

3191.53

47.90%

Low Density Residential

0.17

16.75

0.25%

Medium Density Residential

17.79

1778.78

26.70%

Commercial and Industrial

3.51

350.54

5.26%

Transport

13.26

1325.57

19.89%

Lake Tuggeranong - Totals

66.63

6663.17

100%

Water Quality Issues

  • Lake Tuggeranong is often closed to water users due to high levels of blue-green algae.
  • Lake Tuggeranong is small in comparison to the size of its catchment; even during drought years the volume of water flowing into the lake in a year is twice what it can hold.
  • All the area of Kambah and Wanniassa contains old style urban stormwater drains, which means anything which gets into a gutter ends up in the lake. The delivery of large volumes of untreated water can frequently overwhelm internal lake processes that transform or lockup pollutants (i.e. sedimentation, photo-degradation) and lead to conditions that enable blue-green algal blooms.
  • Stormwater from the catchment contains soil and sediment run-off and organic matter (leaves and garden waste).
  • Decomposing organic matter (i.e. leaves, grass cuttings) uses up oxygen and releases nutrients that fuel algae growth.
  • Water quality monitoring indicates the highest levels of pollution arise from the northern inflows into Lake Tuggeranong – the Kambah and Wanniassa Stormwater Drains.
  • Much lower levels of pollutants arise from the southern side. This may be due to pollutants such as sediment and organic matter settling out in Upper Stranger and Isabella ponds.
  • New developments are likely to place increased pressure on the lake.

Catchment options

Lake Tuggeranong Catchment

Lake Tuggeranong

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