Our new favourite bioretention system

Our new favourite bioretention system

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

We prattle on about turning bioretention systems into self-sustaining ecosystems. Recently we stumbled across a system as close to what we have in mind as we have ever seen. Unsurprisingly its our new favourite bioretention system.

The funny thing about this system as this we've been to it before.  A little over 3 years ago. At that point it was nice... but only nice. It sure has grown over time.

Check it out on The WSUD Map. It's asset number B00081. 

Cheers

Jack

Memories of an open drain

Memories of an open drain

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

In this episode we consider this picture on an open drain from 1960's Mackay. It was posted to Facebook by the page "Have You Seen the Old Mackay?" The picture is interesting, but the comments were fascinating and inspired this episode.

A quick thanks - we came across this post thanks to a share form Amalie Wright of Landscapology fame!

For those of you listening in audio only, here are the comments from Facebook (suitably redacted to make names and places anonymous):

  • *NAME REMOVED* the drain went way down to the salt flats behind Ray St. We lived in *STREET NAME REMOVED*. Always had a good swim when the tides were high. They came right up in our gutters. Wow, that’s along time ago.
  • That is just one of those things you don't really notice going, until someone mentions it and suddenly "oh...when did that go? I remember that.
  • My grandmother was the first house in *STREET NAME REMOVED* which is about where this photo was taken from. I used to be in those drains a lot in rainy season
  • *NAME REMOVED* your Nans little house is in this. I remember the drain well. Loved it in high tides... and Floods.
  • Many hours of fun had in those drains and I feel sure our parents would have worried if they knew what we got up to.
  • Caught lobbies in those drains on the corner of Bridge and Nebo Road in the late 50s and early 60s.
  • Probably worked better than today’s drainage.
  • Circa 1960 is where Sarina township is still at!
  • *STREET NAME REMOVED*. The 2nd street I lived in mackay
  • I remember going down that on a surfboard one day. Whoop Whoop!!
  • I remember. Loved those days life was so simple
  • Open drains were the best in wet season. Got old dinghies out and paddle around streets
  • The shops were a newsagents and the post office which only moved premises in recent years.
  • Wow, I played in those drains.
  • I am sure the grocer shop was Worthington’s when I was a kid.
  • The shops on the left are still there too.
  • They should of kept the drain.
  •  I walked past that drain every day going to and from school. THREE *NAMES REMOVED 
  • *NAME REMOVED* bottlo on the left up there.
  • Lived in *STREET NAME REMOVED*.around that time..
  • Right beside our house in *STREET NAME REMOVED*
  • Remember it very well wow.
  • *NAME REMOVED* do u remember this?
     

Cheers

Jack

30 more bags of filter media

30 more bags of filter media

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

In episode 216 we presented the results of research into bioretention filter media. In this episode we continue that investigation with fresh data looking into the relationship between filter media properties and the amount of water available to plants. The results weren't what we expected. 

The see the full data, visit our bioretention filter media research page.

Cheers

Jack

Learning from water in Copenhagen

Learning from water in Copenhagen

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

In this episode we are joined by Simon Roberts from E2 Design Lab. Simon recently travelled to Copenhagen to participate in the Copenhagen Urban Lab. The event brought together six professionals of different disciplines for a week long intensive looking into a water challenge in Copenhagen. We talk with Simon about his experience during the week.   

Cheers

Jack

Smooth or rough

Smooth or rough

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

We continue or discussion of global and local maxima (see episode 221), using the concept of a smooth or rough landscape to guide how we react.

Cheers

Jack

That's like WSUD - Local and global maxima

That's like WSUD - Local and global maxima

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

In this episode we discuss the concepts of local and global maxima, and relate them back to water sensitive urban design. Sometimes iteration leads to progress, but at other times it does not. 

Cheers

Jack

Why did that grow there?

Why did that grow there?

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

The way stormwater treatment systems develop as ecosystems over time is a constant fascination to us (and hence a regular topic on Ideanthro!). In today's episode we visit the Wakerley bioretention system (asset ID #B00028 on The WSUD Map). It is large. It has three cells. New species are popping up in all of them; but more so in one of the cells than the others. We wondered why?

Cheers

Jack

216 bags of filter media

216 bags of filter media

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

In this episode we show you some recent research into bioretention filter media and its relationship to plant health. Follow the link above for full research details and the raw data!

Highlights include:

  • organic matter and its relationship to plant health
  • a large change in filter media pH over two years

Thanks to Nem Krco, Karan Braich and Calen Murray for their work on this research.

Cheers

Jack

Doing more with less part 3

Doing more with less part 3

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

We can't seem to keep away from this concept of 'doing more with less'. In this episode, thanks to something that Dale Browne at E2DesignLab said to me, we remind ourselves that there is more to this than simply doing more with less. There is another possibility.

Cheers

Jack

Whatever remains, no matter how improbable

Whatever remains, no matter how improbable

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi everyone,

This episode is inspired by one of Alan Hoban's presentations at the 2017 IECA and Stormwater Queensland Conference. Alan delved into research that shows that raingardens 'loose' far more water than MUSIC (yep, that tool used so regularly in Australia) predicts. In this episode we explain why this is a potential game changer for how we think about how raingardens work.

The research referred to is as follows:

  • Hunt, W., et al. (2006). "Evaluating Bioretention Hydrology and Nutrient Removal at Three Field Sites in North Carolina." Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering 132(6): 600-608.
  • Lucke, T. and P. W. B. Nichols (2015). "The pollution removal and stormwater reduction performance of street-side bioretention basins after ten years in operation." Science of The Total Environment 536: 784-792.
  • McKenzie-McHarg, A., et al. (2008). Stormwater gardens to improve urban stormwater quality in Brisbane.
  • Parker, N. (2010). Assessing the effectiveness of water sensitive urban design in South East Queensland. Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, Queensland University of Technology. Master of Engineering: 235.

Cheers

Jack

Weeds and steam

Weeds and steam

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi everyone,

You've heard us talk about weed management in stormwater systems before on Ideanthro. Herbicide over spray can cause real problems, and we need a solution. 

For a while now I have been curious about steam weed control and its potential. On this episode, Jeremy Winer from Weedtechnics joins us to discuss weed control using steam (or more specifically, exceptionally hot water). This is the first time I have seen this method of weed control first hand (if you ignore the 10 seconds of something similar that I saw by accident in The Netherlands 16months ago) and therefore this episode is an initial exploration of the process on my part.

Cheers

Jack

Stormwater management - waste or resource

Stormwater management - waste or resource

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi everyone,

On this episode I had the pleasure of sitting down to chat with Mark Liebman from The Sustainability Workshop. The more water and urban design people I meet, the I realise the broad array and skills and perspectives that we have at our disposal to bring to bare on the issue of how to make our cities water sensitive. Mark is no exception.

In this episode Mark shares with me his thoughts on why we should manage stormwater as a resource (rather than a waste), and how the planning system we may need to change to facilitate this.

Cheers

Jack

How good... raingarden good

How good... raingarden good

Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as.”


Hi there,

A well integrated raingarden inspires a conversation about cognitive biases in water sensitive urban design.

Cheers

Jack