Stormwater harvesting trifecta of benefits

Article image - Stormwater harvesting trifecta of benefits Installing the plastic lining for the underground water storage at Kalparrin Gardens. A recently completed Banyule Council project that established one of the largest stormwater harvesting networks in Melbourne is improving the environmental health of Melbourne’s iconic Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay and delivering social and financial benefits to the community.

The network spans three project sites located at Kalparrin Gardens in Greensborough, Chelsworth Park and Ivanhoe Golf Course in Ivanhoe and DeWinton Park in Rosanna.

Stormwater is filtered and stored before being used to irrigate sports fields and open spaces to ensure they are kept in top condition all year round. Excess water not required for irrigation is filtered before flowing into the nearby waterways to improve environmental health.

Providing a more environmentally and financially sustainable source of water, the project will continue to have a positive impact on the local community for many years. Irrigating sport fields and open spaces is the council’s largest use of drinking water.

State-imposed water restrictions over the last decade meant that a lot of open spaces dried out and became unusable and sporting fixtures were cancelled. Dry periods are predicted to occur again as a result of climate change and this project prepares for that future.

Each project site is different and uses a complex system of litter traps, sediment ponds, bio-filtration as well as constructed wetlands to remove chemicals like phosphates, nitrogen, oil and other pollutants.

In constrained urban areas such as Banyule, open space is at a premium. The project is distinguished by innovations that see more than 15 million litres of water stored underground to minimise the loss of open space.

This innovation has already been recognised with the one of the project sites winning an Award for Excellence at the recent Stormwater Industry Association of Victoria awards for its unique ‘double-decker’ design.

Minister for Water Peter Walsh said the smart, sustainable water project fitted perfectly with the Victorian Government’s plan to make better use of rainwater, stormwater and wastewater for non-human consumption.

“The Victorian Government is adopting a whole-of-water-cycle approach to the management of our water supplies that will provide ample water for all Melbourne’s growing needs, even in times of drought.”

Banyule Mayor Wayne Phillips said the outcomes of this project are something the council is very proud of.

“Stormwater harvesting will continue to deliver a trifecta of social, environmental and financial benefits to the community we serve.”