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A screeenshot from the video.

A screeenshot from the video.

Imagine a concrete surface for roads & footpaths that can absorb 880 gallons (3,331 litres) of water in just one minute & keeps on absorbing until the rain has stopped? Well it is now a reality.

Tarmac, a UK company invented ‘Topmix Permeable,’ a porous concrete that can withstand the weight of heavy vehicles, literally ends the problem of flooding & large puddles on concrete surfaces like car parks, roads & footpaths.

The concrete consists of a permeable layer on the surface that allows the water to immediately drain. The water then goes into a ‘attenuation layer’, that directs the water into a drainage system that connects to the groundwater reservoirs. This would also allow water to be purified through the ground as it makes its way to the Cooks River.

It cannot be used in areas where water freezes as the water would expand & damage the concrete. I think this is an amazing step forward for the issue of storm water flooding.

Our street trees would also benefit if our roads & footpaths were made of this product, as they would receive enough water when it rained. A large percentage of our street trees live in a small hole surrounded by concrete. As such they are lucky is they get a decent drink at all.

You can watch the 1-minute video here –


swales & new planting

I went for a walk along the Marrickville side of the Cooks River on Friday and saw there has been a significant amount of restoration work done along the river bank, including a couple of swales in the area where it floods when there is a specially high tide.  I have stood ankle deep in water that covered the footpath on an occasion when the moon’s position caused a high tide.

The grasses & new tree planting is already busy with the sounds of insects pleased with the new habitat.  There is also another new swale at the cliff underneath a storm water drain.  It is really quite beautiful.

looks quite natural

I think all this work has been done by Marrickville Council.  Last week I saw council workers building a similar swale on Thornley Street (see swales & planter boxes 7th March 2010.  There are barriers in place & a huge pile of dirt so it looks like more work is to come. Well done.  It has made a significant difference.

I am continually impressed with Marrickville Council & the community groups who do wonderful work returning this river back to what it was before it was severely polluted over the past 100 years or so.  A number of these groups are listed in the blogroll on the left hand-column.  The Cooks River at Strathfield is literally a cement drain & looks shocking.  The difference in the two locations is astounding.

Marrickville Council spent $17 million to create this beautiful green oasis & the RTA want to destroy it by putting in a 4 lane arterial road over the top of it

Community group Tempe 2010 is holding a peaceful protest walk against the RTA’s ‘road to nowhere’ to help save the Tempe Wetlands, Tempe Reserve & the Cooks River.  SoT is also very concerned about the resulting loss of many trees if this project goes ahead.  The walk starts at the park on South Street Tempe & finishes behind the Newtown Jets in Tempe Reserve where the RTA is holding a community information day until 2pm.

  • tomorrow Saturday 20th February 2010
  • @ 11 am

Plenty of time to participate in this event before attending ‘Sustainability Street by Street’ which is to be launched in Marrickville. 

The goal of the project is to show how to make a street more people-friendly & pleasant while improving water management & green space. The Project is about working together on a local street level to reduce & slow polluted storm water from rushing down to the Cooks River when it rains. The Project looks at ways of using the storm water to water gardens, how communal & shared gardens could be developed, how pavement space could be turned into native gardens or food gardens.

Come & listen to a presentation by Libby Gallagher, who co-presented the ‘Proposition Marrickville’ at the Re-Inventing out Streets Conversation which caused quite a stir in July Last year.  Richard McManus from Equatica will present a session on WSUD at both a street & property level.   See Wiki Web-site for more information:

  • tomorrow Saturday 20th February 2010 @ 1-4 pm
  • Marrickville West Public School Library
  • RSVP – Catriona 
ph: 9559 3660
 or 0435 021 449

Then there will be the Project Launch with stalls providing advice on worm farming, rainwater tanks etc & gauging interest in sharing gardens, pavement gardens (veggie verges) & more.

  • Saturday 6th March 2010 @ 1 pm
  • Louisa Lawson Reserve, Harnett Ave Marrickville
  • RSVP – Catriona 
ph: 9559 3660
 or 0435 021 449

Three days later the Cooks River Valley Association, Wolli Creek Preservation Society & City of Canterbury City Library present Professor Heather Goodall speaking about her recent book Rivers & Resilience, the story of the Aboriginal people who have used (& continue to use) the Georges River area as home & hideout from the time of European settlement until the present day.  This fascinating account also provides insights & glimpses into the Aboriginal history of the Cooks River valley & Wolli Creek.  There will be a display of archival photographs & maps.

  • Tuesday 9th March  @ 6 pm
  • Campsie Library – Amy Street, Campsie (ground level of Campsie Centre)



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