One year on from completion, the Peters Place Reserve drainage site is unrecognisable. Where a barren patch of grass, weeds and a long drainage channel once stood, there is now a thriving wetland.

Peters Place Reserve is an award-winning project, part of our Drainage for Liveability program. The program brings local government, Water Corporation and the Department of Water and Environment (DWER) together with the aim of transforming function-first drainage sites into urban streams.

While traditional drains are highly effective in preventing floods, they’re often an otherwise neglected space in our suburbs.

The Drainage for Liveability program takes a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to drainage. Through the program, we redesign drainage sites to mimic the shape and surrounding environment of natural streams. As well as preventing flooding, these man-made ecosystems unlock a range of other environmental benefits.

Reducing nutrient run-off into the Swan River

Peters Place Reserve is one of many drainage sites in the Bayswater Brook Catchment area, one of the largest catchment areas in Perth. This important catchment is the fifth highest contributor of nutrients into the Swan River.

Stormwater run-off from roads tends to carry a high level of nutrients, which can make its way into our rivers and lakes, stimulating algal blooms.

Urban streams, like Peters Place Reserve, clean stormwater as it flows through the landscape. Just like our natural waterways, the plants surrounding urban streams absorb some of the nutrients from the stormwater. This natural process has two benefits: it supports plant growth while reducing nutrient levels in stormwater.

The structure of urban streams also slows the flow of stormwater, allowing heavier particles in the water to sink to the stream bed rather than be carried through to the Swan River.

Bringing wildlife back to Peters Place Reserve

Peters Place Reserve is a mirror image of a natural wetland, featuring native flora up and around the banks of the stream.

Transforming the park from a landscape of patchy grass into a micro-ecosystem was no easy task. A dozen volunteers from Water Corporation and the City of Bayswater worked together to plant thousands of Australian natives such as knobby club rushes (Ficinia nodosa), robin redbreast bush (Melaleuca lateritia), and swamp banksias (Banksia littoralis).

The plants have firmly taken root around the stream, providing sanctuary for ducks, swallows and honeyeaters which have made a home in the area.

A tranquil green space for the community to enjoy

Morley local, Gabrielle Migliore, passes Peters Place Reserve every day on her way home.

Having lived in the City of Bayswater all her life, Gabrielle loves the area for its family vibe and abundant community spaces. She’s glad to see that another safe and green space has popped up in her suburb where she and her family can relax and get back to nature.

“The new wetland is gorgeous and to see the birds there in the beautiful water it just makes me so happy. Being so close to the primary school as well, the local kids will be able to enjoy the area, learn about the wetland and how important it is to the environment.”