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Information about the work of  Orange City Council, located in the Central West of NSW

Ploughmans Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme


Burrendong Wetlands

Orange City Council is pursuing an integrated package of both structural and non-structural programs to help secure the City's water needs. The Ploughmans Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme is one of these initiatives and follows on the heels of the multi award winning Blackmans Swamp Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme. This scheme will transfer a portion of the storm flows from the Ploughmans Creek catchment into Suma Park Dam where it will supplement the City's raw water supplies.

Urban development, through the creation of impervious surfaces, provides a valuable resource in terms of certainty of stormwater generation. Urban development in the Ploughmans Creek catchment has increased the average volume of runoff by 880ML per year. Available data indicates that the quality of this water compares favourably with typical values for an urbanised catchment.


Cargo Road Wetlands

 A drier future, albeit with more extreme storm events, makes stormwater harvesting from an urbanised catchment a sensible option to consider. The challenge is to adaptively manage the scheme's use so that the downstream impact is not significant and that the needs of downstream users and the aquatic environment are not compromised. The urbanisation of the Ploughmans Creek catchment, compared to its natural condition, has generated additional stormwater runoff. The harvesting scheme, as proposed, has been designed and will be operated to capture and use this extra runoff.

The Ploughmans Creek stormwater harvesting scheme was constructed and will operate without risk of serious or irreversible damage; without degrading the health, diversity and productivity of the environment for future generations; and without jeopardising biological diversity or ecological integrity.

The Review of Environmental Factors (REF) placed on public exhibition in November/December 2009 concludes that the construction and operation of the scheme is unlikely to result in a significant adverse environmental impact.

The Ploughmans Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme comprises four (4) wetlands to provide stormwater quality and quantity controls and two (2) small V-notch weirs and associated pumps to pool and harvest stormwater flows.  The average volume harvesting by the scheme under current catchment conditions is estimated at 700ML/year however, when the catchment is fully developed this is estimated to increase to an average of 800ML/year.


The wetlands that are part of this scheme are the Somerset Park wetlands, the Cargo Road wetlands, Burrendong Way wetlands and The Escort Way wetlands.

Environemental Trust LogoThis program has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.  All earthworks are complete at all wetland sites with the establishment of aquatic planting and vegetation continuing throughout the wetlands areas.

Somerset Park Wetlands  

 All planting of the wetlands has taken place with the following plants, but due to the Orange climate, all plants are currently dormant and Council is looking forward to spring when these plants emergen and flourish, greatly enhancing the appearance of the wetlands and surrounds.

Wetlands Planting Information
Ecotone Zone 1
Lomandra longifolia, Pennisetum alopercuroides
Ecotone Zone 2
Gahnia sieberiana, Juncus usitatus, Juncus aridicola, Poa labillardieri
Fringing Zone
Baumea articulata, Bolboschoenus fluviatilis, Phragmites australis
Mudflat Zone
Carex appressa, Carex fascicularis, Juncus aridcola, Juncus usitatus
Deep Water Zone
Ottelia ovalifolia, Eleocharis sphacelata


 Overview Plan [1.19MB]    
Review of Environmental Factors (REF) [2.66MB]  REF - Appendix A [460KB]
 REF - Appendix B [1.53KB] REF - Appendix C [220KB]
REF - Appendix D [3.45MB]  REF - Appendix E [1.65MB]
REF - Appendix F [587KB] REF - Drawings [13.2MB]