Centennial Park’s ornamental ponds are some of its most popular features and many will know them for the beautiful habitat they provide for water birds and aquatic life.
People are often surprised however, to hear that these water features (with the exception of Lily Pond), act as a detention basin for stormwater runoff and have an important flood mitigation function.
In short – when it rains, water is redirected from the surrounding suburbs including Paddington, Woollahra, Waverly, Bondi Junction and Randwick, into the pond catchment area.
So what does all this mean? It means that the health of our ponds is in our hands!
We have several strategies in place to reduce the onflow and impact of stormwater pollutants in the ponds. These include:
- use of ‘Gross Pollutant Traps’ at key stormwater entry points to capture larger waste items;
- aquatic plantings which provide stability for banks and improve the quality of the water by filtering out some dissolved toxic pollutants such as phosphorus;
- the addition of new islands and underwater berns to prevent water from becoming stagnant;
- regular water analysis and occasionally, use of an aerobic bacterial treatment method that helps to reduce built up organic matter, nutrients and various other organic compounds.
These measures are proving quite effective in the care of our ponds, and we have seen some vast improvements since the 1980’s before the Trust was established to manage the Parklands… but we still need your help!
Not sure where to start?
Here are 5 simple ways you can help us protect the ponds:
- Always place waste in a bin, never pile rubbish next to a bin or leave rubbish on the ground in the Parklands – in heavy rains or winds, it may still find its way to a pond;
- Sweep your gutters and driveways with a broom rather than hosing rubbish down the drain;
- Wash your car on the grass — putting soapy water down the drain encourages the growth of algae and can sometimes poison our aquatic wildlife;
- Pick up your dog’s poo — the nutrients in the faeces can encourage algal blooms;
- Parklands rangers keep an eye out for rubbish, but if you come across any while in the area, report it with a call to the 24-hour emergency ranger support number on 0412 718 611.
Your ponds, wildlife and environment will thank you!