The Tamil Educational Cultural and Charitable Association (TECCA) has identified building a Hindu Temple as a key priority for its members and has aimed to find an environmentally sustainable way of doing so.
The Temple’s members recognise that high volumes of water are consumed during the poojas (prayers), through daily operation of the temple and for site irrigation. Currently, all the water consumed during operation of the temple is sourced via mains water. With the assistance of Smart Water Fund, the Tamil Temple has now completed a major water reuse and recycling project to significantly reduce its water use and improve the site’s environmental sustainability over the long term.
The key activities undertaken were grouped in distinct activities and are as follows:
· Task 1: Rainwater harvesting system including rainwater tank, irrigation system
· Task 2: Wastewater collection and treatment system including grease trap, pump station
· Task 3: Solar energy system to supplement the energy required for the water system
· Task 4: Reed bed filtration pond
The project was successful in achieving all milestones as specified in the original proposal. There were however some modifications to the Reed filtration bed which was originally proposed including the timing and delivery, however all appears to be functioning well.
The final outcome was the completed upgrade of the Tamil Temple with clever design that adopts environmentally sustainable principles to provide a practical demonstration to its members and the broader community of what is possible.
The return on investment for this project can be divided into financial and social benefits.
- Water saving figures calculated per annum = $ 3,000
- Waste treatment and bio-solid reuse per annum = $ 1,000
- Storm water collection and improved discharge water quality = $ 2,000
- Solar PV offsets to power consumption per annum = $ 3,000
- 7 per cent return on investment
- Community awareness of sustainability principles
- Experience and opportunity for community leaders and politicians to engage with local issues
- Other institutions learning from this project