Hume City Council recognised for being water wise

By Adam Coleman

Hume City Council in Victoria has won the savewater! awards – Award for Excellence and won the Government category, for its water saving initiatives that will save about 28 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water each year.

The council plans to save more than 70ML through a variety of sustainable water use actions that maintain existing assets.

Hume City Council mayor, Gary Jungwirth, told that a range of the council’s assets are now water wise. “It was important to win and send a very good message to our community and to probably other councils”.

Melbourne is presently on 3A water restrictions, and while the community is “sharing the pain”, the council saw “a range of ways that we can utilise scarce water to serve our community better”.

Cr Jungworth emphasises to other councils and organisations that “some of the initiatives are so simple that anyone can replicate it”.

Of three council initiative, the first was to install rainwater tanks at the majority of its sporting buildings and childcare centres. Rainswater is used for ground watering, trees and gardens and potentially flushing toilets.

“Most councils have a firmly developed sense of infrastructure and whole lot of buildings that all have roofs and all you have to do is to put a tank at the end of it,” he says.

Secondly, Hume City Council partnered with Western Water to use Grade 2 recycled water on sporting grounds, with a considerable water saving. Thirdly a new council office has been built with a five-star environmental rating.

“Level five is about as high as you can go. It features a whole lot of initiatives not only collecting water but using it for the toilets, waterless urinals, high efficiency fixtures and fittings, rain water collection and re-use system in the toilets, grey water treatment and re-use for irrigation, water meters and leak detection systems, air-cooled system in replace of cooling towers,” Cr Jungworth says.

He says the rainwater tanks installed at three childcare centres are a great educational tool, with pre-school children becoming knowledgeable about how important it is to save water.

“We are thrilled to win [the award]. Our community encourages us and are very supportive of our environmental sustainability initiatives," Cr Jungworth says.

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