Recycled water plans to secure Ballarat’s future reserves

Paul O’Donohue
Paul O’Donohue

Ballarat’s water reserves can be secured through the use of waste and stormwater to service the city’s parks and gardens.

Increasing the city’s recycled water capacity was part of Central Highlands Water’s new management plan, released last week.

The plan investigated how to provide for the city’s water requirements for the next 50 years.

Currently Ballarat’s supply is well above the more than 10,000 mega-litres needed each year.

However as this increases to more than 20,000 mega-litres, using recycled water can help the city keep up with demand.

Central Highlands Water managing director Paul O’Donohue said the company aimed to increase its recycled water capacity.

“We already service a number of ovals and facilities in the area,” he said.

“The plan is to create more opportunity for recycled water to be used for a range of non-drinking activities.

“The long term goal is to service all the outdoor usage, potentially via recycled water or collected stormwater.”

The plan was developed in consultation with Ballarat City Council and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

To extend the use of recycled water, new open spaces should be built withing 600m of wetlands, where stormwater can be treated, according to the plan.

It also said there should be planning conditions for new developments to ensure these wetlands are designed with the infrastructure needed to harvest stormwater.

This included working with developers to include council-funded pipe transfers from wetlands to the new open spaces.

Mr O’Donohue said developments on the city’s fringe would need larger scale stormwater harvesting.

“Part of that is designing stormwater harvesting and drainage to support creeks and waterways in new developments,” he said.

The water management plan has been made available at mysay.ballarat for public comment.