Project Round
Project Number
52R - 2028
Research Organisation
City of Greater Geelong

Water Conservation, Recycling and Reuse in Geelong

The Challenge

Located some 75 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD, the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) covers 1,245 km2 comprising of country, coastal and suburban areas. The municipality is Victorias’ largest regional centre with a population of over 212,000 people.

In 2006, the CoGG recognised the considerable challenge of managing the limited water recourses of the region in a more sustainable manner by undertaking a review of potable water use in partnership with the Department of Sustainability and Environment. This review recognised the valuable resource of water; the impact of water restrictions and ability to provide active sporting grounds in a “fit for purpose” and safe standard; and the increasing cost of potable water to council and the community.

Elcho Park Golf Course, a public course, was one of the biggest water users of its kind in this region. During the water restriction period, irrigation of the course was limited to tees and greens only. This resulted in the course being under extreme stress, the golf pro leaving and a substantial deterioration of the playability of the course, resulting in a decline in the number of members and casual players, with considerable financial impact to CoGG and the Elcho Park Golf Club.

This project will enable excess treated Class C water from Barwon Prison’s sewage treatment plant to be reticulated through a six kilometre pipeline to the Elcho Park Golf Course. This will ensure the playability of the Elcho Park Golf Course for the local community as well as establishing important partnerships and providing leadership.

The Project

In 2008, a partnership was formed between the CoGG and the Department of Justice supported by Barwon Water, Barwon and Margoneet Prisons and the Elcho Golf Club to deliver a minimum of 30 mega litres Class C treated water from the Prisons to Elcho Park via a 6.7 km pipeline. This water would be stored in an 8 mega litre dam at the Elcho Park Golf Course for irrigation of the course and surrounding sites.

Detailed discussions with Barwon Water (who are contracted by the Department of Justice to treat the waste water) identified the EPA approved process used at the Prison resulted in the treated water requiring an additional treatment before being piped to the Elcho Park dam. The final process at the Prison was to store the water in open dams, utilising natural UV to sterilise the water. This was not suitable for the requirements of the CoGG as the water could not be retained for long enough periods of time in the open dams to ensure sterilisation occurred.

Additional treatment equipment was installed at the Prison to ensure the quality of the Class C treated water. The ongoing maintenance of this equipment has been achieved by formal agreement with Barwon Water. Both of these (the reshaping of the two dams into one and the additional treatment process) added additional time and cost to the project.

Trenching of the 6.7 km pipeline commenced within December 2009 and was completed in May 2010.

The Outcome

The project has been successfully completed with 17.9 Megalitres of Class C recycled water being applied to the Elcho Park Golf Course to date (from October 2010 to end of January 2011).

To date, this has improved the appearance of the greens and tees. The Rainbird system allows detail per hole – tees, greens, fairways and approaches – to be monitored which will allow over time a great knowledge of water management at this site. This detail will be produced on a weekly basis.