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Water recycling project wins Good Design Award

Sydney Park water reuse 1_opt

A local council project using millions of litres of treated stormwater runoff to keep its parks green and wetlands thriving has scooped a 2016 Good Design Award.

City of Sydney Council’s water re-use project harvests and treats up to 850 million litres of stormwater from Newtown’s Munni Street catchment and uses it to irrigate Sydney Park, a 44-hectare area from

The stormwater is captured, stored and then treated to deliver a new sustainable water supply to the wetlands and Sydney Park. There is also potential for other water users across the local area to access the clean water, including industry.

The council has even managed to turn the project into a waterscape feature. Visitors are wowed by the elevated terracotta pipes that funnel the cleansed water into Sydney Park’s main pond.

The project won the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences category in the Good Design Awards – a prize given to products that have the potential to make a significant improvement to the quality of health, wellbeing or the environment.

Sydney Mayor Clover Moore said it was the City’s biggest environmental project to date and that it “brought together design, science and sustainability to create a significant new piece of green infrastructure.”

“It not only improves overall water quality and habitat, it also educates residents and visitors on the importance of water management by allowing park visitors to connect to the concept of water capture and cleansing in a beautiful setting,” Ms Moore said.

Director of Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Dolla Merrillees, called the Sydney Park water re-use development a ground breaking project.

“We have selected a project which highlights important contemporary issues such as sustainability and social innovation, and addresses the increasingly critical issue of our natural resources,” Ms Merrillees said.

“This community-focused project illustrates how Australian designers are successfully responding to ‘real world’ problems, by planning our future cities and urban environment with a sense of social responsibility and purpose.”

The project was a collaboration between Sydney firms Turf Design Studio, Environmental Partnership, Alluvium, Dragonfly and Turpin+Crawford Studio, who completed the two year project in October 2015.

The project plans will be displayed in the Success and Innovation gallery at the Museum of Applied Arts and Science at Ultimo.

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