Geelong harvesting and reusing stormwater

By Paul Hemsley

The Kardinia Park stormwater harvesting project has been funded with $840000 and is one of five projects in a $2.79 million federal investment in the City of Geelong’s stormwater scheme.

The stored water will be treated and used to irrigate the local government owned Skilled Stadium, along with two outer ovals and parklands in the vicinity.

Drought-tolerant grass will replace the turf to lower the demand for watering, which will be collected from the 30-hectare catchment of Newtown and stored in a 1.5 million litre underground water storage tank.

Member for Corio, Richard Marles said the five projects will save up to 222 million litres of water each year.

“The water harvesting infrastructure will capture up to 20 million litres of water a year, reducing reliance on potable water and allowing the park to be watered during dry conditions,” Mr Marles said.

Parliamentary secretary for sustainability and urban water, Senator Don Farrell said a further $100 million in federal funding has been committed for a third round of stormwater harvesting.

The four other stormwater harvesting projects in the Geelong area are Grinter Reserve, Eastern Park, Weddell Road, and the Hume Reserve Managed Aquifer Recharge.

A City of Greater Geelong spokesperson said the council applied for the Water for the Future initiative during the second round through the Australian Government.

“This fund is linked with the national urban water desalination plan; the City of Greater Geelong applied and was one of about a dozen councils around Australia to receive the funding,” the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, the funding is “matched 1:1 with council money” and the projects will be delivered by the end of 2013.

Auswater Solution was the private contractor the council hired to build the stormwater harvesting system.

Director Shane Harrison said the technology used is an underground chamber system that collects the stormwater through a Gross Pollutant Trap; water is filtered through the system and any sediments are caught in a containment row and rock underlying zone.

“The benefits are supply of water for irrigation from water that would have had to be treated by Barwon Water and then returned as potable water back for irrigation use,” Mr Harrison said.

He said this collected storm water is further treated on the Skilled Stadium Precinct through a self back flushing filter and then all bacteria is treated through an ultra violet unit.

Sustainability wise, the stormwater is used for irrigating the parks and Skilled Stadium reducing the normal usage of mains water by up to 95 per cent.

Gravity also harvests the water from the main stormwater pipe eliminating the need for a supply pump, Mr Harrison said.

According to Mr Harrison, Auswater Solution is looking at projects for more works in Geelong.

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