As Auckland is seeing a housing and development boom, we are faced with more environmental challenges as a result of the urbanisation of land.
One of the environmental challenges faced is the generation of stormwater as a result of an increase in impervious surfaces within an increasingly urbanised environment. Stormwater generation within an urban environment can have some of the following adverse effects if not mitigated effectively:
- An increase in stormwater volume
- Downstream flooding effects
- Erosion of streams
- Loss of habitat for birds and other stream species
- Increase in contaminant discharges from road runoff
- Temperature pollution within streams
- Increased sediment load to urban runoff
Constructed stormwater wetlands are an important mitigation tool to help reduce the effects stormwater runoff can have to the environment. Wetlands are defined as margins of land formed in damp boggy places that create unique links between land and water. They act as a filtering device to added pollutants and contaminants that can be found in urban runoff and provide an important habitat for a range of native flora and fauna species.
A fantastic example of a wetland restoration project can be found in San Francisco, where the now redundant “Hamilton Air Force Base” is currently being restored to its original wetland state. This will provide a great habitat for endangered species in the area and also aid restoration of water quality within San Francisco Bay which is feeling the effects of a rapidly urbanized region of the United States. Refer to this link for more information.
More locally AR Civil Consulting Ltd is involved in various projects that use constructed wetlands for stormwater management. Constructed wetlands are large shallow planted ponds that replicate functions of a natural wetland system, helping to slow flows to control flooding, provide shelter for wildlife, remove sediment, nutrients and contaminants before they enter downstream stormwater systems or waterways. Refer to this link below for more information on their form and function in the Auckland region.
AR Civil Consulting Ltd supports using tools of the natural environment as a beneficial and necessary stormwater management technique, readily providing these to client’s development projects.