Protecting Waterways with Floating Treatment Wetlands in Sussex Inlet

A vibrant, green seaside community nestled in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Sussex Inlet is a waterfront town built on a network of tidal canals – bordered by both St George’s Basin and the Pacific Ocean.

The local community is known for its picturesque waterways, vital for tourism, water sports, fishing, swimming, and boating. Stopping the conveyance of pollution from nearby urban areas into these marine environments is an essential part of ongoing efforts to support sustainable development in the area.

Sussex Inlet Golf Village is a master planned residential development situated a stone’s throw from Badgee Lagoon. Atlan Stormwater (formerly operating as SPEL Stormwater) has been there throughout its development to help the village meet its environmental objectives.

Proposed expansions include a retirement village and several residential subdivisions, and on-site stormwater treatment assets have scaled to meet the growing requirements of this scenic development.

The Green & Golden Bell Frog: Protecting Endangered Species

Atlan Stormwater (formerly SPEL Stormwater) provided innovative Floating Treatment Wetlands assets to treat stormwater runoff from the nearby residential and golf course catchments.

In 2020, the first phase saw installation of 200 square metres of Floating Treatment Wetlands. Flourishing in the following years, with treatment specific plants established, the success of this system saw a second phase commence in 2023. This added 550 square metres of wetlands modules, which help to service the growth in nearby residential subdivisions.

The beauty of floating wetlands systems lies in their biomimicry of natural wetlands environments. Naturally filtering stormwater, these systems improve water quality and reduce pollutants, sediment, nutrients and algal growth. Using biological, chemical and physical processes to benefit downstream water quality, they contribute to the health of Sussex Inlet’s diverse ecosystems.

Providing habitat for local wildlife is another essential benefit of these sustainable systems. Beyond the typical fish, bird and amphibian species that call these areas home, the Atlan Floating Treatment Wetlands system has seen endangered species, the Green and Golden Bell Frog, take residence.

Native to southeastern Australia, these medium-sized frogs possess a striking colouration ranging from bright green to gold, adorned with black spotting. They thrive in wetlands, swamps, and areas with still or slow-moving water.

These innovative stormwater treatment assets offer both environmental and aesthetic benefits – and improve lot yield and maximise usable land compared to traditional wetlands. By addressing stormwater management challenges and providing habitat for wildlife, they are contributing to protecting the Green and Golden Bell Frog while building a greener, more sustainable future for all.

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