Water Sensitive SA

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Rowley Reserve, Francis Ridley Circuit

Bordered by Francis Ridley Circuit, Brompton, Rowley Reserve (formerly known as New Brompton Estate) is a passively irrigated green open space in a medium density development, consisting of 18 residences located around the outside of the reserve. A gravel-filled stormwater retention trench (0.9m x 0.9m section, 106m long) was constructed around the perimeter of the reserve at the rear of the houses. Roof run off from the residences flows through to the infiltration trench, located about 2m away from the trees in the reserve.

In its second year of operation, a recharge bore receiving water from the infiltration trench was installed, connecting the infiltration system with the aquifer about 30m below ground level. This provided the elements of an aquifer storage and recovery or managed aquifer recharge (MAR) scheme. To date the stormwater recovery component if the scheme has not been activated, however the site does have potential to enable irrigation of Rowley Reserve with stormwater extracted from the underground storage. A high-level overflow directs excess flows in intense storm events to Councils drainage network.

Site history

Rowley Reserve, Brompton was a former brick (clay) pit that was backfilled with heavy clay laid in 150mm deep layers and compacted with heavy equipment to a total depth of seven metres, with hydraulic conductivity of 3 x 109 m/s.


The advantages of the Rowley Reserve design over convention streetscapes include:

  • reduced peak stormwater runoff outflows
  • improved stormwater runoff quality
  • sustains greening of the local park
  • potential for use of stormwater discharge into the aquifer via managed aquifer recharge (MAR)
  •  typical design storm “nuisance” flows are fully contained within the infiltration system with no visible surface flows for larger events
  • residences are less flood prone.

Type in the address of Francis Ridley Circuit, Brompton in the Adapt West’s Urban Heat Map to compare how cool Ridley Reserve is with its surrounds.



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