Construction starts on new Healthy Waterways projects

Construction has commenced on two more Healthy Waterways projects, including a rain garden in Tuggeranong that, once complete, will be the biggest in the southern hemisphere, Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, and ACT Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman, announced today.

“The new rain garden, in parkland beside Upper Stranger Pond, will cover an area of 5,200 square metres and, when it rains, will treat about 1,800 litres of stormwater a second before it enters Lake Tuggeranong,” Senator Seselja said.

“New wetlands are also being established in Holder, between Dixon Drive and Cotter Road. The finished wetland will cover 5,600 square metres and can contain approximately 2.4 million litres of water, which is about the same as an Olympic swimming pool. Water will be diverted from existing stormwater pipes in the area to the wetlands for treatment before flowing into the Molonglo River.

“A third project, also located in Tuggeranong, will see the revegetation of part of the concrete channel to the north of Isabella Pond. Construction on this project is expected to commence in January 2018.

“Stormwater run-off is the biggest source of water pollution in our creeks and lakes, posing a risk to public health and aquatic life and threatening the many social, economic and environmental benefits our lakes and waterways offer. This new infrastructure will help to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants entering our waterways, particularly when it rains.

“The Australian Government is committed to building better water infrastructure that delivers benefits for communities right across the country.  In the ACT, we are contributing up to $76 million for the construction of key water infrastructure projects to improve long-term water quality,” Senator Seselja said.

Construction is expected to be completed on the three projects in mid-2018.

Lake Tuggeranong catchment was identified as a priority when planning for ACT Healthy Waterways first began. Work is well under way on two new wetlands at Isabella Pond, in conjunction with the widening of the weir. This project is on budget and scheduled to be finished in November 2018.

“The ACT Government knows the Tuggeranong community is concerned about water quality and these three projects all focus on limiting the amount of pollutants entering the lake,” Minister Gentleman said.

“Three more projects for the Lake Tuggeranong catchment are likely to be confirmed in coming months, along with an in-lake research project that will improve our understanding of pollutant sources driving blue-green algae. This follows on from a carp removal program conducted earlier in the year.

“Research is ongoing into ways to better manage this introduced, pest species. Almost four tonnes of carp were removed from Upper Stranger and Isabella Ponds when they were drained ahead of construction earlier this year. The data collected will add to our knowledge of carp numbers and has been shared with the National Carp Control Plan,” Minister Gentleman said

ACT Healthy Waterways is a $93.5 million joint initiative of the ACT and Australian governments to improve the quality of water entering our lakes and waterways and flowing downstream into the Murrumbidgee River system.

“The management of water is a long-term issue and we all have a part to play. The drains outside your home go straight to the stormwater system so don’t pour paint and other chemicals into them and make sure you rake up your grass and lawn clippings. Remember this key message – ‘Only rain down the stormwater drain’,” said Minister Gentleman.

For more information about ACT Healthy Waterways visit

ACT Healthy Waterways plays an important role in achieving targets included in the ACT’s Water Strategy, announced in 2014, which details the ACT Government’s vision for water management over the next 30 years.