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Suburban Water: Water Capture & Storage Trial in Kingston

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on April 13th, 2011

A Sustainable Melbourne report from the 2011 Water Innovation Day, co-hosted by the Smart Water Fund and Siemens:

© Suburban Water

From a presentation by Jim Townsend, CEO Suburban Water, “Remote Storm Water Management”

Suburban Water was established to actively test and develop storm water harvesting technology in Australian suburbs. The premise of the project is that captured storm water doesn’t need to be treated to potable levels – between 30 -35% of current urban water use could be directly replaced with storm water.

As the recipient of a Round 3 grant from the Smart Water Fund, the company was able to install a pilot harvesting system in the city of Kingston, Victoria. Using the local aquifer, telemetry and a combination of existing and new infrastructure, the system allows water to be captured and shared between two separate sites, and increases each site’s ability to prepare for and capture heavy rain.

The System:
Storm water captured at Southern Road Reserve is fed into concrete tanks, where it is treated and returned to the aquifer as part of a managed aquifer recharge system.  It is held there until needed either at Southern Road Reserve or at Parkdale Secondary College, just over a kilometre away. Parkdale Secondary College captures its own storm water and stores it in rainwater tanks, which provide toilet flush water and irrigation for the grounds. When these tanks are nearly half-empty, a monitor alerts the remote control at Suburban Water in Adelaide. The subterranean tanks at Southern Road Reserve pump water up into the existing Melbourne Water drain, and the water arrives to be treated and pumped into the school’s tanks 90 minutes later.
When significant rainfall is expected, the tanks at Southern Road Reserve empty into the aquifer in order to capture as much new rainfall as possible.

Key Outcomes:
The project is well into its prototype and testing stage, and while there have been significant challenges, CEO Jim Townsend emphasised the importance of being able to put a price on storm water capture and reuse – excluding the cost of installation but including regular running costs such as pumping and monitoring, the price is approximately $0.4/kL.

Further information available through the Smart Water Fund

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