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Bathurst rain garden protects the river from stormwater pollution

An innovative rain garden at Bathurst's Adventure Playground is helping improve the quality of water that drains into the Macquarie River.

The pilot project is a partnership between Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Bathurst Regional Council and the Central West Salinity & Water Quality Alliance.

The rain garden is designed to stop litter and pollutants such as oils and grease from running off our roads and entering local waterways. This will protect the health of our local environment, particularly native fish.

Plants in the rain garden take out the nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorous from animal droppings, chemicals from cars and silt and other pollution that otherwise ends up in the river.

Alison Thompson from Bathurst Regional Council said the project was proving an important tool for educating the public about the impacts of stormwater on waterways.

"We set out to improve the quality of water within the catchment, but the bonus is that people can come and see how the rain garden works," Ms Thompson said.

"Part of the project was about beautifying our landscape and demonstrating to the community what we are doing - improving the quality of stormwater water that enters our river system."

"This project has brought together Council staff from a range of divisions, including our design team, parks and recreation staff and project managers from other areas of Council, and it has been great to see them all working together."

Central Tablelands Local Land Services Team Leader Chris McCulloch said the project was a novel and successful approach to stormwater management that neither of the organisations had tried before.

"This is a best practice example of stormwater management and an important project to show how we can reduce the impact of stormwater on the environment," Mr McCulloch said.

"Local government is one of the key land management bodies across the region and we are looking forward to building on that partnership in the future."

Bathurst locals and visitors can see the rain garden near the Adventure Playground on Hope Street.

You can also take a tour of the rain garden and see it in action at http://youtu.be/QoNw9aI_L1U

As scale model of the rain garden has also been built to show the bed structure. You can see the model at http://youtu.be/EAQhgdEOxb0

Caption (L-R): Chris McCulloch (Central Tablelands Local Land Services), Michael Callan, Aaron McDonald and Alison Thompson (all Bathurst Regional Council)

Media contacts: Rodney Campbell (0447 430 160) or Fiona Townsend (0428 284 252).