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Zero Additional Maintenance Water Sensitive Urban Design (ZAM-WSUD) Handbook


Zero Additional Maintenance Water Sensitive Urban Design (ZAM-WSUD) is a water sensitive urban design system that has been designed so that the ongoing maintenance implications for the asset owner are negligible. 

The challenge is simple: develop a raingarden design with ‘zero’ additional maintenance requirements compared to a typical kerb and channel streetscape.

The concept consists of:

  • Vegetation maintenance by residents
  • No filter media replacement
  • No manual litter removal
  • No sediment removal
  • 50+ year design life

In addition to the City of Manningham, the partners involved in the design, development and trial of this project include Glen Eira City Council, the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities, Monash University and Melbourne Water.

Prototype design and testing was undertaken in close partnership with Monash University. Some of the design innovations involve:

  • using mowable buffalo grass, so residents can mow the raingarden just like they mow their nature strip;
  • installing channel groves to trap incoming sediment on the roadway, so it can be picked up by streetsweepers; and
  • adding a protective layer of coarse sand on the surface of the filter media to help prevent the formation of a sediment layer.

Testing of the prototypes showed that grass turf was thriving even over the hot summer period, and that the sediment grooves were working well. This process also allowed for slight design improvements which minimise health and safety hazards (tripping potential) and reduce the risk of clogging.

The handbook provides a great overview of the project, with practical details and design plans.

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