2012 CCF Earth Awards

Dobsons Creek has the highest ecological value of any waterway within the Knox City Council area and is one of the highest value waterways in the entire Dandenong Creek catchment. The Wicks Reserve Bio-Infiltration project aims to protect Dobsons Creek from the impacts of urban stormwater, by:

• Reducing the frequency, rate and runoff entering the creek back towards the natural 'pre-development' level (it does so by reducing peak flows, increasing baseflows and maximising opportunities for evapotranspiration).
• Reducing the loads of sediment, nutrients, heavy metals and toxicants entering the creek, and reducing concentrations of pollutants in the creek.

The aim of the project is to provide a measurable ecological improvement to the creek over time. At the same time, a principal aim of the project is to demonstrate the integration of stormwater management into the landscape, to both reduce environmental impacts of stormwater, and to reduce the risk and consequence of flooding.

The intention is that this project becomes a model for building community awareness and engagement in stormwater issues. Given the extremely high ecological value of the Wicks Reserve in which the site of the bio-infiltration system is built, a key objective is the protection and enhancement of the ecological values of the site, using vegetation representative of the Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC) of the area.

The bio-infiltration basin is the largest of its kind in Australia and the only one to combine bio-infiltration, infiltration and stormwater harvesting.