Water saving gets sporting chance

Premier Colin Barnett (centre) with Forrestfield MLA Nathan Morton and Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich. Picture: David Baylis         d439745
Premier Colin Barnett (centre) with Forrestfield MLA Nathan Morton and Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich. Picture: David Baylis         d439745

Premier Colin Barnett said the new managed aquifer recharge system at Hartfield Park Sporting Complex was a great addition to the community and the first of its kind in the state.

In Forrestfield to unveil the plans at Hartfield Park, the Premier said he was excited about the model, which could serve as a pilot for other sporting facilities.

Kalamunda Shire President Sue Bilich said she hoped other communities would emulate the system once it was operational.

At a cost of $6 million, the system will enable the fields at the sporting and recreational facility to be watered with recycled water and save costs.

The system was part of the State Government�s pre-election promise to upgrade Hartfield Park for sporting groups, Forrestfield MLA Nathan Morton said.

�Forrestfield is experiencing rapid growth and the demand for these sporting facilities is under increasing demand all the time,� Mr Morton said.

�That is why it is crucial that we continue to explore how best we can use our resources, particularly our water resources, in what is often a dry climate.

�The option of using this system was identified in the Hartfield Park master plan and I must congratulate the Shire of Kalamunda, especially the co-ordinator of project delivery, Daniel Nelson, for bringing it to fruition.

�People are passionate about their sporting clubs and excited to grow the capacity of the venue in the eastern suburbs.�

The project is a water-recycling scheme designed to harvest and re-use storm water.

It is expected to deliver a saving of about two million litres of water a week in summer. �The water savings are the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool being saved each week, which is a fantastic result for the local environment,� Mr Morton said.

The system means a significant reduction in ground water extraction, as well as a reduction in the impact of urban run-off downstream within the Water Corporation drain.

The water can then be re-used to offset turf irrigation and supplement water requirements for the proposed increase in fields.

Mr Barnett said it was essential infrastructure for so many sporting codes in the one area, which were experiencing increased demand and popularity.

�This is an important project demonstrating the innovation we are adopting in WA to develop local water sources to meet community needs in a drying climate,� Mr Barnett said.

The first stage of the project involves the harvesting and filtering of 46,000 kilolitres of stormwater from a Water Corporation drain before injecting the water into the superficial aquifer below Hartfield Park.

The masterplan includes a new skate park, three new hockey fields, a new soccer ground, secure lighting, upgraded clubrooms, more parking and better security.

The Hale Road sporting complex is home to a range of clubs and hosts competitions in tee-ball, soccer, rugby, hockey, netball and squash.

Mr Barnett said the new water technology was exciting.

�The Shire of Kalamunda has secured all the required regulatory approvals and built the infrastructure necessary to proceed, with a trial stormwater managed aquifer recharge project, and this first stage will be used to monitor the response of the aquifer and water quality,� he said.

�It is proposed the project will eventually add between 115,000 to 230,000 kilolitres a year to the local aquifer to support the watering of new and upgraded playing fields, as well as other locations

Mr Barnett promised to come back for a game of tennis after the facility is complete and said he would start training now, with a match scheduled against former Wimbledon great, Margaret Court in coming weeks.

�_I don�t know how I�ll go She is very fast and competitive so I need to lift my game if I want to win against her,� he said._,� he said.