It never rains but it pours! Amidst a general climate of drought, it was particularly encouraging to see how well Caroline Springs faired during recent record rainfall in Melbourne’s west with the enormous volume of stormwater on site generated by what is now recognized as being over a one-in-one-hundred-year flood event. Firstly it is important to understand that an enormous amount of work has been done on the hydraulics (how water will move through the site) on Caroline Springs.
‘Springlake Village’ is a key example south of Kororoit Creek. When areas are developed from rural to residential, there is a much greater concentration of water travelling across the ground (generated from roadways, roofs, footpaths) and less water percolating through the ground, being slowed and absorbed by natural vegetation in a rain event. To reduce the impact of intense rain events on major waterways and creeklines such as Kororoit Creek, urban developments are required to ‘slow’ their own water on site hence the waterway system at Caroline Springs.
Addressing public concerns
Some concerns have been raised over the sheer volume of water that was seen across the Caroline Springs development. This is exactly as the hydraulic design allowed for in such rare flood events. Specifically, The Serpentine lake (Springlake) is designed to retard water flow from the surrounding developed areas. This lake system will increase in depth during a rain event until it reaches its flood design level, at which point it then diverts and begins to flow through the linear park swales at Bellfield Avenue, underneath and along Caroline Springs Boulevard until the Chisholm Drive roundabout, where it then travels along Chisholm Drive into the main wetland system (also a retarding basin) below the Chisholm Village park. There was some limited flooding within the new Bridges release, due to the culvert construction not being completed at Bridgewater Terrace. It is expected that this will be completed during the coming months.
A key initiative across Caroline Springs will be the introduction of cautionary signage and flood depth indicators in locations subject to flooding. This will be done in conjunction with Melton Shire Council to ensure public safety is addressed.