Rain garden - Fadden (Lake Tuggeranong catchment)

Aerial view of Fadden rain garden site

14/12/2018 - Civil works continue. Recent storm events had little or no impact. Beds are being prepared for planting and footpaths are under construction.

7/11/2018 – Construction continues and planting will soon commence

9/8/2018 – Bird netting will be installed in August in preparation for spring planting.


Fadden Pines reserve – with its picnic areas, playgrounds and skate park – is already popular with locals. A new rain garden will be a great addition while also improving the quality of water that flows into Isabella Pond, Lake Tuggeranong and then the Murrumbidgee River.

Two seating areas will allow visitors to enjoy the rain garden and could also serve as outdoor classroom spaces for students from the two schools nearby. Eleven Radiata pines (classified as an environmental weed in the ACT) will be removed and replaced with native Casuarina and Melaleuca.

The finished rain garden (comprising two separate pods) will have a combined treatment area of approximately 2,100 square metres and remove over 35,000kg of nitrogen, phosphorous and suspended sediment very year.

During construction, parts of the nearby cycling and pedestrian paths will need to be closed for short periods of time. Diversions will be put in place but bike riders and walkers may have to cross access roads or wait for site traffic to pass. Everyone is urged to take care while in the area.

Start date May 2018
Construction finished November 2018
Anticipated establishment period Two years from open date*
Open for public use June 2019

+Construction may be delayed by a number of factors, including bad weather.
^The establishment period may change depending on ground and weather conditions. During the establishment period, flows into and through the asset will be managed to suit the conditions and to protect and nurture the plants.
*Some areas of the site may remain closed to allow for plants to establish.

Design changes

Although water quality is the priority for ACT Healthy Waterways, the project team is also working to a fixed budget and timeframe.

During the final design phase, some changes were made to the original concept designs to accommodate services, community feedback and maximising water quality benefits.

  • The final design includes two rain garden pods instead of three. However, although there has been a reduction in the overall size, the optimised cells will enable better distribution of the stormwater across the surface of the rain gardens, resulting in healthier vegetation, better performance and fewer maintenance issues.
  • To reduce the potential for clogging of the filter media, the final design includes a sediment forebay in addition to the original gross pollutant trap (GPT). Together, these will remove about 90% of suspended matter from the stormwater, better enabling the rain garden to remove dissolved contaminants such as nutrients.
  • To improve road safety, the access point for maintenance vehicles has been moved to a new position west of the underpass.
  • The existing shared path between the pods will be upgraded and widened to provide additional access for routine maintenance.
  • The existing sewer will now be diverted around the northern pod.

More information

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How this project might impact you

  • Trucks will pass in and out of the area during the improvement work. Routes have been established to minimise traffic disruption and noise.
  • Detours for walkers and cyclists will be in place and will be clearly signposted.
  • The construction site will be fenced for public safety during the entire length of the project.
  • The contractor has prepared a Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP) to detail how it will deal with flora and fauna issues.

Landscape design

Click on the image to enlarge.

Rain garden landscape design plan for Fadden Pines Reserve