Stormwater challenge

STORWATER MEASURE: Heinz Kruger lives on the low side of Leonard Street, Shoal Bay. An upgraded strip drain, door plate and speed bump are only part of an elaborte system devised to cope with runoff. Picture: Sam NorrisHillside living has presented Shoal Bay residents like Heinz and Jan Kruger with a litany of stormwater issues over the years that has required some inventive solutions.
Nanjing Night Net

It should serve as a warning, they said, for the proponents of developments like the Leonard Street units (31 to 31a) exhibited over the Christmas period.

“We need to do the right thing with development in this area,” Mr Heinz said.

“I’m not against development so long as it’s done in a way that doesn’t impact neighbours”

Residents for 40 years, Mr and Mrs Heinz said they had battled stormwater run-off for much of that time, living on the low side of Leonard Street.

Mr Heinz has replaced the standard 10 centimetre plastic strip drain in front of his garage with an industrial looking item twice the width.

For times when the drain can’t cope he’s installed a small speed bump at the garage entrance thatacts as a levee. Mr Heinz has even removed a brick from the alcove outside the garage so water can drain away, down the side of their house.

An enclosed porch beside the garage used to suffer flooding as well until Mr Heinz gave the problem some thought. What looks like a threshold 20cm high, only water tight, locks into place at the front door to hold water back.

“We got the idea while on holiday in Venice,” Mrs Kruger said.

In the backyard there’s a water tank that captures rain from the roof. Theoverflow spills into a disused septic tank (Shoal Bay is now on the sewer) and that discharges slowly into a sophisticated rubble pit, or trench.

Ten metres wide, and one metre deep, Mr Heinz had a plastic honeycomb like structure placed into the trench covered with a geotextile membrane, back-filled with aggregate.

“Otherwise our stormwater would all be discharged onto the neighbours and intoTomaree Street, all at once, and further on down the hill,” Mr Heinz said.

“I hadsomeone from council look at my system and he said everyone should be doing it this way.

“If we don’t do developments the proper way here it’s not fair to people in Horrace Street (downhill) when it floods.”

As among the first to build in Shoal Bay the Heinz family said the natural landscape presented some challenges.

“Horace and Rigney [streets] were a lagoon, you used to be able to row a boat on it,” Mr Heinz said.

“But it was drained and developed.”

The proponent for the redevelopment of 31 to 31a Leonard Street has withdrawn plans to build 10 new units.

“The application was lacking essential information and council officers therefore requested it’s withdrawal until these issues are addressed,” a spokeswoman for the council said.

The council is also reviewingmeasures worth $6 million proposed in the recent Shoal Bay Drainage Study.

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