AN urban storm water harvesting project in the heart of suburbia is a significant step in maintaining environmental sustainability in areas of mass development.
The $1.7 million wetlands project at Jim Donald parklands at Eastern Heights neighbours Citimark's $85 million Coles Express, shopping centre and urban jungle set to open in 2017.
It was specifically designed to manage and treat storm water run-off from the development site without the need for significant concrete drains.
The system will capture and treat water in normal rainfall events in a series of ponds.
It means the storm water which flows into creeks and rivers during the flood mitigation process will be cleaner as well as used to irrigate local sporting fields.
Citimark joint managing director Robert Pullar said it came about as a "better opportunity to develop a more regional response to the water ways".
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the wetlands project eliminated the need for traditional cement drainage systems.
"This is the environment in action, it's about everyone making sure the environment is looked after," he said.
"It's better than those arm chair warriors on Facebook that just want to bag things, (the developers) are getting out and doing some action.
"It's important to make the community and the development industry work hand in hand to make a forest and an environmentally significant project right in the middle of where people are going to be living, working and playing."
The project was jointly funded by State Government, Ipswich City Council and Citimark and designed to combine flood mitigation work with recreational community expectations and irrigation.
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said there was potential for it to set a benchmark for future development in the Ipswich region.
"You look at this project and you can see that it's outstanding and that ticks a lot of boxes," Ms Howard said.
"It's got a really nice environmental twist in that we can use the water we collect to irrigate the sporting fields."