Water Sensitive SA

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George Whittle Reserve, Churchill Road


The redevelopment of the George Whittle Reserve Skate Park included the installation of a stormwater soakage pit and porous paving. A permeable resin footpath was installed underneath an established gum tree to allow for stormwater infiltration to the trees roots. The George Whittle Reserve redevelopment won the 2020 AILA SA Landscape Architecture Award for Play Spaces.

Site context

Flood mitigation and flood management was a key driver for the design, as a considerable portion of the area in the nearby corridor has been identified to lie within a 1% average exceedance probability (AEP) inundation area – formerly referred to as 1 in 100-year average return interval (ARI) flood. Geotechnical investigations of the site identified low level contaminated waste from previous fill that needed to be avoided.

During early hydro-excavation work for the trenching for electrical conduit, Council discovered the existing gums had significant dense shallow roots.

Project objectives

  • Protect tree root systems within the tree protection zone
  • No net increase in runoff from the site associated with the redevelopment of the skate park for a 0.18 AEP (1 in 5 year ARI) Rainfall event design storm.

Design features

  • Runoff from skate facility and basketball court is all treated via the infiltration trench 11 x 3 x 1(d) metre soakage pit, backfilled with 40 mm aggregate.
  • 2 x 200 mm diameter slotted agricultural pipes covered in a geofabric sleeve running through the centre of the infiltration trench.
  • Runoff from pedestrian paths is directed to garden beds via another agricultural pipe.
  • Excavated material for the soakage trench was re-used on site as part of the mounds for the skate facility.
  • Path levels were raised in and around the existing large gum trees to protect their root systems and a porous resin bound pavement (Stoneset) was used within the trees’ drip zones to provide for stormwater infiltration into the root zones. Installation of the porous resin-bound pavement involved stripping of the existing turf and a base course of aggregate laid, with a layer of geofabric placed over this base course. The geotechnical fabric was then overlaid with the porous resin-bound pavement product to produce the wearing course or trafficable surface. The finished surface is suitable for all abilities access to the nearby toilet facilities.


The porous pavement is regularly maintained with a blower vac to ensure build up of sediment and organic matter is minimised, to prevent clogging.

Design and construction


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