Council enlists industry leader for recycled water scheme
  • Monday 10 November 2008

Coolum Ridges Integrated Urban Water Management Project

Sunshine Coast Council has appointed prominent industry leader, Justin Holbrook, as project director on a leading-edge integrated water cycle management system for a new residential development on the Sunshine Coast.

Mr Holbrook, Managing Director of Sustainable Urban Development & Technology (SUDTEC), will work with council, the state government and FKP Developments Pty Ltd to provide an innovative water harvesting and reuse project which will satisfy water needs for the proposed 1200 lot urban residential community at Coolum Ridges Estate.

Major Projects Portfolio holder, councillor Debbie Blumel, said she is pleased to have Mr Holbrook working with council on this project and is looking forward to a successful outcome.

“This is a collaborative research and development project between industry and council to investigate new technologies and methods for the provision of climate smart urban development,” Cr Blumel said.

“It involves all three levels of government – council is the project proponent, the federal government has agreed to provide $4.6m in funding and the state government will provide funding and policy responsiveness.

Judy Bailey, Regional Director for Water, said by introducing an integrated water cycle management system into future residential developments the community, council and the environment would benefit.

“The immediate practical benefit of a recycled water scheme and a roof top potable water scheme for this future community will be the delivery of 75% reduction in potable water demand when compared to a standard urban residential development project,” Ms Bailey said.

“Not only will the proposed roof water harvesting scheme reduce demand on council’s water supply by 75%, it could defer the need for new dams or desalination plants, and would capture all rainwater run-off unlike limited capacity rainwater tanks.”

Justin Holbrook said the research and development project will deliver three key innovations considered essential for ongoing advances in climate change adaptation.

“Firstly, the project will investigate a groundbreaking, climate change adaptive, water sustainability infrastructure model that can be rolled out across the country,” Mr Holbrook said.

“Secondly, it will deliver an exemplar project feasibility methodology that incorporates the cost impacts of climate change over the life of the project.”

“Thirdly, it will demonstrate the practical application of sustainability in local government governance.”

Cr Blumel said council is serious about implementing sustainable development.

“The project will deliver more than just a local water plant to save our most precious water resource,” Cr Blumel said.

“It also aims to reduce the anticipated discharge to council treatment plants by 81%, reduce treatment and transport costs to existing council plants, reduce nutrient to minimal concentration, and reduce the costly carbon emissions required for pumping water and waste over long distances. It also will reduce the amount of by-product discharged into the Maroochy River.

“Importantly, this is a pilot research and development project. Lessons learned will be invaluable as we roll-out sustainability projects on greenfield sites across the Sunshine Coast.

“I can see a future in which our current technology for water and sewerage plants goes the way of the dinosaurs. In my role leading council’s Major Projects Portfolio, I question the extent to which our current technology is consistent with or advances our commitment to become Australia’s most sustainable region.

“I don’t think we can afford a ‘business-as-usual’ approach to augmenting technology which will soon be seen as archaic. We must seize learning opportunities to find the best way forward.”

The proposed Integrated Water Cycle System involves the provision of standard reticulated water and sewerage services to each urban residential property and incorporates two supplementary water supply schemes – dual reticulation and rainwater harvesting.

A dual reticulation scheme involves a local sewer treatment facility which produces Class A+ water for circulation throughout the estate for external use and toilet flushing.

A roof water harvesting scheme involves the collection of roof water into communal tanks, followed by treatment and injection into the potable town supply network.

Mr Holbrook commenced his role as project director for the Coolum Ridges Integrated Urban Water Management Project last Monday.