Frankston increases waste water re-use

Many Local Governments are looking to recycling treated water to increase water conservation. Frankston City Council has received a grant of $250,000 in the first round of the Victorian Government’s $10 million Stormwater and Urban Water Conservation Fund for a project to use treated effluent to irrigate the City’s major recreation reserves.

Council’s grant was one of the two largest submissions around the State to share in $3 million in funds that will save around 22,000 megalitres of water over 25 years.

Mayor, Councillor Rochelle McArthur, welcomed the announcement by the Victorian Water Minister, John Thwaites.

“Frankston City Council’s project will conserve millions of litres of potable drinking water and make the City’s recreational areas drought proof,” she said.

Councillor Mark Conroy, the City’s delegate for the water campaign program, said the latest funding was further proof of Frankston’s level of commitment and preparedness to lead the way in water conservation.

“South East Water is partnering Council in a study into the use of recycled water in the municipality,” he said.

Council has committed $1 million in its current capital works budget to enable the construction component of the project to proceed in stages.

“We plan to use this funding for irrigating sports fields, parks and recreation facilities at Karingal and Central Frankston, the first stage of which is Ballam Park,” he said.“We will seek further funding for subsequent phases.”

The main treated effluent outfall from the Eastern Treatment Plant runs through the municipality on the way to the discharge point into Westernport Bay at Boags Rocks. Council already taps into this pipe to water Carrum Downs and Belvedere Park recreation reserves, Centenary Park Golf Course, and Baxter Park.

Councillor Conroy said this funding will assist in constructing an offshoot pipe, about five kilometres long, to service Ballam Park, Jubilee Park, George Pentland Botanic Gardens, Beauty Park, Frankston Park and the Frankston Waterfront.

By using recycled water, Frankston City Council will help the State Government towards achieving its target of 20 per cent water recycling by 2010. Recycled water has larger economic benefits. The current cost of potable water is around $800 a megalitre while the type of recycled water suitable for irrigation can cost about $40 a megalitre.

Councillor Conroy said that after the Ballam Park pipeline is completed, it alone will save about 70 megalitres of potable water each year, reducing Council’s water bill by around $50,000 per annum.

For more information, phone Engineering Development Coordinator, Ken Poulier, on (03) 9784 1870.