BMT WBM music case study

Maroochydore Library, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, QLD

Nominee - 2009 Healthy Waterway Awards, Water Sensitive Urban Design Category

At Maroochydore, where the Maroochy River had shown signs of stress, including impacts by excessive stormwater runoff, BMT WBM assisted the Sunshine Coast Regional Council in retrofitting multiple WSUD elements into existing areas around the Maroochydore Library. The elements include porous pavements and bioretention systems as well as grassed swales, rain-gardens and rainwater tanks. Music was a key tool for site selection and design stages.

A range of stormwater management devices was assessed in a music model of the area. All the measures were ranked, via music’s estimates of their treatment effectiveness and life-cycle costing. This showed that the best options for stormwater were an integrated system of swales, bioretention systems and porous pavements. Several types of rainwater tank have been installed as well, for water harvesting for use in toilets, with overflow from the tanks directed into a rain-garden which promotes infiltration.

Using music, the project team evaluated and coordinated stormwater treatment measures from a network of related urban catchments and subcatchments at once. The software also allowed rapid assessment of different scenarios to be completed, and the results were examined both for particular rainfall events and for the long term.

By playing around with these scenarios in music, and looking at their costs, the modelling quickly showed which options were most cost effective, and that the information could easily be used in a broader decision making framework.

The Maroochydore Library project highlights both the success of integrating WSUD into existing urban areas and the value of partnerships of industry and government in delivering such projects.