Project Round
Project Number
62R - 2007
Research Organisation
Country Fire Authority (CFA) Victoria

Hospital Operations Save H2O for Fire Fighting

The Challenge

Bacchus Marsh & Melton Hospital routinely discharged water used in steam sterilisation to waste. During years of extreme water shortage local Country Fire Authority (CFA) units were forced to take water conservation measures which limited training opportunities for brigade members. This project was a cooperative effort between the hospital and local CFA Fire Brigades to reuse wastewater from sterilisation processes in local fire fighting applications.

The Project

Western Water tested water samples from the 22,000 litre storage tank installed at Bacchus Marsh & Melton Hospital to recover water from the hospital’s steam sterilisation process. The water test results showed the water to be of drinking quality on the parameters tested and safe for the its intended use.

Storage tanks were installed at the following locations to store the steam steriliser generated recycle water:

  • Bacchus Marsh CFA – 2 x 50,000 litre
  • Coimadai Rural Fire Brigade – 34,000 litre
  • Myrniong Rural Fire Brigade – 34,000 litre
  • Bacchus Marsh Fire Brigade’s Darley Satellite Station – 22,000 litre

These tanks were also plumbed to adjacent roofs at each location to store rainfall.

A 900 metre pipeline from the hospital storage tanks to the Bacchus Marsh CFA tanks was installed along with infrastructure for power and pumping as required at the other sites.

Over the period of the project a record was kept of the water sourced from these storage locations.

Details of the launch of the project can be found here.

 The Outcome

Water recovery rates from the hospital typically exceed 5,000 litres a day.  This new water source allowed the CFA to reinstitute live water training exercises for brigade members, and to engage in watering of ovals and significant landscape areas. This water source is also used in testing and maintaining CFA equipment.

The usage log to September 2010 recorded 122 events where the new water source was accessed with a total 1.03 ML of recovered water used.  The cooperative model and operations experience gained in this project can be applied to other locations in rural Victoria.