Waterproofing the South—Stages 1 and 2
A catchment-wide approach to stormwater management that reduces flooding risk, capitalises on the value of stormwater and ensures sustainable water use


The City of Onkaparinga’s Water Proofing the South strategy seeks to substitute alternative water sources such as stormwater for traditional sources such as mains water and groundwater, to ensure sustainable water use across the entire Council area.

This catchment-wide approach to stormwater management addresses flooding risks, capitalises on the value of stormwater through storage and distribution and reduces the impact of low water quality on marine environments.

The project was divided into two stages:

  • Stage 1 (Christie Creek Upgrade) ($15m)—a 850 ML/year system of pipelines, wetlands and water storage
  • Stage 2 ($23m)—a 2.8 GL/year system of Managed Aquifer Recovery (MAR) schemes, wetlands and pipelines.


Stage 1

Stage 1 included the following works:

  • 2 wetlands at Brodie Road and Madeira Drive, including a high-flow bypass, gross-pollutant removal, sedimentation basin and storage
  • 2 upstream detention basins at Waverley Way and Woodcroft Drive
  • a 93 ML HDPE-lined storage within the Wilfred Taylor Reserve site
  • 3 pump stations with sheet piling, filtration and treatment facilities
  • over 18 km of pipeline ranging in size from 90 mm to 315 mm

Stage 2

Stage 2 works included:

  • new stormwater harvesting pond at Candy Road, Happy Valley
  • new wetland at Byards Road, Reynella East
  • enhancements to existing wetlands at Dalkeith Road, Seaford Rise and Hart Road, Aldinga Beach
  • a water distribution network that connects Candy and Byards Road wetlands with each other and with the Christie Creek scheme (Stage 1).

Key features

Through an innovative approach to process and control, all pump stations are connected to a common distribution system, but operate completely independently by electronic controls and logic. Each pump station is able to self-reset after power failures preventing the need for attention by operators other than to undertake monthly servicing or repair faults. All pumps and controls, data points and trend information is communicated back to the central SCADA server located at the Council chambers allowing remote operation of the system.

Each wetland is able to supply water directly to demands on the network. Filtration and UV treatment occurs at each pump station to achieve water quality requirements.

Leed continued to operate each system on behalf of Council during the maintenance period before handing the systems over to the council.


This highly successful project has met its goal of ensuring sustainable water use across the Council area. The project is financially self-sustaining, with the income from the sale of water covering all servicing, operational and staffing costs as well as providing for future expansion. In addition, the project:

  • was a model of excellent community engagement, resulting in a very high level of community satisfaction with the outcomes
  • brought local amenity and environmental biodiversity improvements, including water quality improvement for coastal discharge
  • created economic development outcomes through the provision of an alternative source of water
  • delivered flood mitigation, in particular Pedler Creek and the upper reaches of the Field River
  • the creation of alternative water supply schemes in the northern and southern areas supported the council's urban growth strategies, for example through infill/regeneration in the north and slow greenfield development in the south of the council area.


Stormwater Industry Association (SA) Awards

2011 Award for Excellence in Project Management for Stage 1—Christie Creek Upgrade

2010 Award for Excellence in Strategic and Master Planning for Stage 1—Christie Creek Upgrade

South Australian Civil Contractors Federation Earth Awards

2011 Category 3 Winner (project value $5m–$20m) for Stage 1—Christie Creek Upgrade

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