The council’s stormwater harvesting scheme, which kicked off in
2008, is already giving residents access to significantly more water
every year and giving the council new confidence in its ability to
secure urban water supplies.
The first large scale, indirect-to-potable stormwater harvesting
project in the state – the Blackmans Swamp Creek Stormwater Harvesting
Scheme – started in 2008. The scheme is ultimately capable of providing
up to 2000 megalitres (ML) of additional water into Orange’s raw water
supply each year. That represents up to 35% of the city’s 5700ML normal
annual water usage. The scheme has been so successful that the council
has since expanded the project to include Ploughmans Creek. The final
part of council’s stormwater harvesting strategy is a proposed
extension of the Blackmans Swamp Creek scheme.
“The concept of the Blackmans Swamp Creek Stormwater Harvesting
Scheme involves capturing a portion of the high flows in Blackmans
Swamp Creek during storm events, and transferring these into the nearby
Suma Park Dam to augment the city’s bulk water supply,” says Martin
Haege, Environmental Engineer at Geolyse Pty Ltd, who played a major
part in the development.
Developed with the aid of eWater CRC’s powerful stormwater modelling tool, music,
the harvesting scheme evolved from concept to operational reality
within 18 months at a cost of $5 million. It involved extensive
consultation with the community and government authorities and a
thorough analysis to satisfy concerns about the safety, reliability and
capacity of the scheme.
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