Vale Street Catchment Days 2016, 2017, 2019

Leura Falls Creek Catchment 2017 weed blitz morning

The 27th May 2017 provided us with perfect weather for our annual get-together in the Leura Falls Creek Catchment. This year it was at Vale St and we were joined by students from Katoomba Primary School SQID Squad and children from the 1st Blackheath Scouts and Cubs. The children planted 434 plants along the creek line and Vale St. They were helped by Ed and Adrian from the Bush Doctors, Eric Mahony, scout leaders, Katoomba Primary teacher Sally Dare and parents. All up we had 42 volunteers come to the morning. Work also included removal of woody weeds , follow-up weeding and mulching.

The morning was organised by Council’s bushcare. Big thanks go to Karen Hising, Tracy Abbas and Eric Mahony and of course to everyone who came. At morning tea we had a presentation by the SQID Squad, and updates from the Leura Falls Creek Catchment Working Group and National Parks and Wildlife Service. We also had a small presentation to Frances Dutton who started the Vale St bushcare group and Lynne Carson who has worked with the Vale St and Cumberland Walkway groups for more than 10 years. Frances and Lynne are leaving the mountains and we wish them all the best.

The morning was highly enjoyable and productive. We can’t wait for next year’s get-together.

Little end note: If you didn’t know … SQID stands for Stormwater Quality Improvement Device and the Katoomba PS SQID Squad are an environmental group who are involved in a number of projects as part of their stewardship of the catchment.

This entry was posted in Bushcare, Events, News, People, Stormwater management, Weeds and tagged bushcare, Leura Falls Creek Catchment, Volunteer, Weeds on 4 July, 2017 by Bushcare Office.


Vale Street Biofilter Planting 2019

Article by Amy StLawrence, Jenny Hill and Karen Hising

In late May, we had another successful planting morning event around the biofilters
(otherwise known as “raingardens”) at Vale Street, South Katoomba – our second event in two years. We planted between 850 – 900 plants in three hours, with 17 volunteers, two contractors and two Council staff – a fantastic effort!

Our planting work around the biofilters will reduce ongoing need for brushcutting/mowing, reduce weed infestation, increase habitat for local wildlife, prevent soil erosion on sloping ground into the biofilters and improve the local aesthetics.

The Vale Street biofilters were built within the footprint of the old constructed wetlands at the site to improve the pollutant removal capacity of the system. These works were
completed as part of the Leura Falls Creek Catchment Improvement Project, a joint Council, Water NSW and community initiative that built seven stormwater treatment systems throughout the catchment area, as well as rehabilitating eroded creek lines.

The Vale Street system includes a gross pollutant trap to remove rubbish, coarse sediment and organic matter and three biofilters to remove dissolved pollutants, such as nutrients and pathogens. The biofilters consist of layers of gravel and sand, planted with native sedges and shrubs. Water quality monitoring has shown them to be very good at improving the quality of stormwater before it flows into Leura Falls Creek, with significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus, suspended solids, faecal coliforms and rubbish. The design of the system and creekline restoration works have also greatly reduced downstream flooding and created pools and ponds for local wildlife.

The water in the Leura Falls Creek Catchment travels through industrial, residential and
natural areas to Leura Cascades and eventually arrives in the Sydney basin to be stored for drinking water.

There has been a significant amount of work undertaken in this catchment, including weed control, planting, monitoring, local community environmental education and information. The Leura Falls and Gordon Creek Catchment Group (a group of volunteers from Bushcare Groups and local residents in the catchment working together with Council) has been very active in much of the overall improvement works.
We will be conducting another planting morning at Vale Street in mid – 2020, including
some easy and challenging options in continuing to plant around the biofilters, as well as along the creekbanks and up through an unformed road reserve, which adjoins the Vale Street Bushcare site.

We can all do our bit to improve water quality for our local waterways by
preventing/collecting rubbish in the streets, vegetating bare soil areas, picking up dog faeces whilst walking, washing cars on lawn areas and covering stockpiles of soil/mulch. We can also capture stormwater run-off by installing water tanks on our properties for toilet flushing, laundry and garden use or allowing it to soak into the ground gradually with vegetated areas and raingardens, rather than large areas of hard surfaces, such as concrete.

This entry was posted in General on 25 September, 2019 by Bushcare Office.


Connected Catchments Tour 2016

Connected Catchments

Vale St Source BMCC 2016
Vale St Source: BMCC 2016

Vale St Baramy Trap in Full Flow – June 2016

On May 2 the Leura Falls Creek and Jamison Creek Catchment Working groups came together along with Blue Mountains City Council Natural Areas and Healthy Waterways teams to do “catchment crawls” (minibus tours of the key work sites) in each other’s catchments. Residents of the Vale St end of the Leura Falls Creek catchment were also invited.

In the morning, the Leura Falls Creek tour showcased the recently constructed stormwater upgrades including the Vale St Baramy Trap and raingarden – shown below in full flow with the recent heavy rains in early June. The Jamison Creek Working Group had an opportunity to see what types of stormwater management systems will be installed in the Jamison Creek Catchment in the near future.

After lunch, a tour of Jamison Creek Catchment gave us a chance to learn about where the upgrades are planned and how they will be constructed.

The stormwater improvement projects in both catchments are an initiative between Water NSW and Blue Mountains City Council. The catchment crawl was filmed by KFM Media, Katoomba. Thanks to the tour guides, Eric Mahony and Geoffrey Smith from Blue Mountains City Council and Peter Bennet who designs the Baramy Traps. Thanks to Monica Nugent for driving the bus. And thank you to every one who came on the tour.

Vale St Source: BMCC 2016
Vale St Source: BMCC 2016

Vale Street – June 2016 11 This entry was posted in Events, General, Natives, Planning, Weeds and tagged catchment group, conservation, Leura catchment, water quality on 27 July, 2016 by Bushcare Office