Sunday, October 20, 2013

My storm water goes where...?

Nearby my house, there is a storm water system. Rain water runs into a gutter system or dumps into a sloped area alongside the playing field outside my back fence and collects in a series of 2 ponds. The ponds have been there ever since we moved in, and hold waterfowl now and then. Ducks and pukekos. I once even saw a Canada goose in the upper pond.

The ponds also hold grass carp, and I’ve been known to stalk them and pretend to cast a fly to them. (A sign says “NO FISHING” in a number of languages; the carp are there to reduce weed growth. I’d practice catch and release of course and try and tempt them with all manner of weird as carp flies. One day I might hide in the bushes and try a few casts. Oooooh, what a rebel).
Overflow from the ponds dumps into a small waterway lined with manuka; then goes through a culvert and into a pretty innocuous stream, lined with gorse, wandering willy, ginger under a pine canopy. There’s always been a track through the bush, a network of routes provides a good series of walks that rate from easy to get your heart pumping. The stream was a write off, orange silt is never a sign of a greatly healthy waterway, and it was so choked by weeds as to be an unappealing and unattractive eye sore.
Over the past couple of years the council has come in for a bunch of flak for expenditure on a cycleway to replace the main bush track. They did more than that; clearing the waterway, creating bunds to hold back water in soaks, and creating small holding ponds. The change has been remarkable, even more so (from my perspective) since at least 2 families of ducks have moved right on in.  I now quite enjoy my family walks, stopping off to see how the ducklings are getting on. A great example of how creating habitat has encouraged waterfowl to use what was once junk land.
Duck paradise starts here....

The bottom holding pond (Here be carp)

Spillway from bottom dam

From here the water enters the stream

Weed ridden uselessness
The new cycleway

Newly created wetland & inhabitants

Upgrade stream channel. Cleaned, rock lined.

Bunds to control seepage and flow

..... and then, it all ends. 50 metres of wetland creation ends at a double culvert under an arterial road.

I know what lies at the other end of the culvert, but with no chance of any funding I'm just going to celebrate what we have got rather than think about the what-ifs.

And that's where my storm water goes. 

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