Raingardens and swales

A raingarden is a garden that has been designed to receive and filter rain run-off from roofs or hard surfaces, such as driveways or paving. 

These self-watering gardens help protect our environment as they reduce storm water pollution. They are also a great garden feature which helps to retain precious rainwater on your property for longer.

Swales perform a similar function to raingardens but they generally are a wide and shallow garden, sloping to a destination and with a path that maximises the time water spends in the swale.

There are some basic design specifications you need to know to create an effective raingarden or swale at home. Check out the resources below for some great advice.

Rebates for installing raingardens

You can apply for a rebate of up to $1000 towards the cost of installing a raingarden on your property. Conditions apply.

Learn about rebates for raingardens. 

Read more about the principles of water sensitive urban design and what Council is doing.

More information on raingardens

Ku-ring-gai Council DCP: Part 24 – Water Management

CSIRO: Water sensitive urban design

Melbourne Water: Short video explaining how raingardens work

Melbourne Water: Short video on how to build your own raingarden

Ku-ring-gai Council: Raingarden design workshop notes (PDF)

Ku-ring-gai Council: Designing and building a raingarden

Melbourne Water: Building a planterbox raingarden

Melbourne Water: Building an in-ground raingarden

Ku-ring-gai Council: Stormwater run-offs control - Sustainable backyards

Melbourne Water: Building an infiltration raingarden

Sydney Water: Plant selector