Runs on the board for sustainable sports grounds

Article image - Runs on the board for sustainable sports grounds  Before and after images of reserve; image via The Triton Film Company.

The City of Mandurah has delivered an environmentally-sustainable water supply for two school ovals and created a new, two-hectare reserve for the growing Western Australian community.

The Ocean Road Active Reserve and Waste Water Reuse Project was officially opened by Mayor Marina Vergone and Member for Dawesville, Deputy Premier Dr Kim Hames MLA in November.

Ocean Road Primary School’s previous oval was struggling to be maintained due to a saline water supply. The City worked to overcome the high-salinity ground water challenges in this narrow coastal area to deliver a reliable and affordable water source to the reserve.

This was achieved by using wastewater from the Caddadup Waste Water Treatment Plant. The water is treated underground through the natural soil and extracted via bores for re-use. This is a continuing program of sustainable water use that has been used successfully throughout Halls Head.

The overall project has not only secured a sustainable water supply, but has seen the small school oval redeveloped into a community sized, reticulated active reserve for the benefit of the schools and the wider community.

The grass used for the reserve was grown and harvested at Serpentine’s Greenacres Turf Group, and was laid in ‘jumbo’ rolls, which allowed for quicker, more efficient laying of turf. School students from Ocean Road Primary School returned from their two-week school holiday break in September to the new reserve.
Mayor Vergone said the City identified considerable gaps in available playing fields in the southern corridor and has actively worked to resolve this.

“We are creating sustainable opportunities for our local clubs and community groups to be active and enjoy the health and social benefits that come with it.

“This project was made possible through key partnerships and has resulted in multipurpose facilities that meets the needs of our growing community.”

The project was made possible by an investment through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions 2013–14 Regional Grants Scheme ($1,590,000) and a grant from the Peel Development Commission ($258,500); contributions were also made by the Department of Education ($140,000) and Saint Damien’s Catholic Primary School ($40,000).

The City has entered into a shared-use agreement with the Department of Education for the use of the reserve, ensuring efficient use of resources. Under the agreement, school students will have priority access during school hours, and the community will have access after school and on weekends.

The City also has a water supply agreement with Saint Damien’s Catholic Primary School to provide water for its oval at a reduced rate to their current water arrangements.