Vale Street Artificial Wetland Trial

Wetlands view

The two ponds of the artificial wetland system

The Problem

Stormwater draining from urban areas on the ridges enters natural streams and bushland. This stormwater often takes with it different pollutants and plant nutrients in a dissolved or suspended state.

The Solution

The artificial wetland system was constructed as a trial to examine the natural ability of water plants to remove pollutants and nutrients from the stormwater before it entered the National Park.

How It Works

Wetland diagram

Diagram of the Vale Street artificial wetlands

  1. Stormwater flows from the Katoomba Street catchment area into a stilling pond, which also collects sediment and trash.
  2. Water is then pumped into the upper wetland pond which contains water plants. These plants act to trap pollutants, absorb nutrients and destroy micro-organisms in the stormwater. The action is improved by baffles.
  3. The process is repeated in the lower pond.
  4. Treated stormwater is then returned to the natural creek, which flows to Leura Cascades in the Blue Mountains National Park.

The Outcome

The quality of the water produced by the wetlands process will be monitored regularly. The trial will last for two years and, if successful, will result in an improvement in the water quality of the Blue Mountains.