Not just down the drain
While we all go about our daily lives above ground, these giant concrete pipes (now buried deep underground) are carrying thousands of litres of stormwater from around the Green Square area to be recycled and re-used.
When Green Square’s water recycling scheme is developed to its full potential, up to 320 million litres of stormwater will be collected from these pipes and treated each year. That’s the equivalent of over 200 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water saved for use all around Green Square’s town centre; in toilets, laundries, cooling towers, water features, landscaping and local parks.
This heritage building hides a high-tech secret
With its dark windows and its beautifully restored brickwork, you’d never imagine this former hospital administration office is powering Australia’s largest urban stormwater recycling scheme. Now the Green Infrastructure Centre, its hi-tech treatment equipment and jungle of black and purple pipes, dials, valves and monitoring tools, process the stormwater and remove litter and silt.
A jungle of pipes and valves
The stormwater undergoes a number of purification steps. Metal screens deal with fragments of litter and leaves while ultrafiltration using fabric with tiny holes removes fine sediment. Reverse osmosis is used to further purify the water if salt levels are a bit high. Finally the water is chlorinated (like normal drinking water) to kill germs.
Giant storage tanks hide beneath this beautiful park
Once purified, the recycled water is stored in large storage tanks cleverly hidden underneath Matron Ruby Grant Park, a beautiful green space for everyone to enjoy.
Pretty purple pipes
The recycled water is transported to taps across the town centre via a separate system of purple pipes, making sure that this water is easy to distinguish from drinking water. It’s estimated that this scheme will reduce the amount of drinking water used in the town centre by half – just one of the ways that the City is incorporating sustainability into everyday life in Green Square.
Recycled water reaches its destination
Many new apartment buildings in Green Square town centre are connected to the purple pipes. Clearly marked as recycled water, these taps provide cold water for washing clothes, flushing toilets and watering balcony or ground level gardens. Recycled water doesn’t have the same water restrictions as drinking water, so households connected to the scheme have a secure supply for their everyday needs.
Keeping the green spaces green
Green Square town centre's new parks and verge gardens are kept lovely and lush thanks to recycled water, as are the common gardens and lawns in new apartment blocks. The City owned community buildings in the town centre also use recycled water for flushing toilets and watering gardens. Joynton Avenue Creative Centre, Banga Community Shed and Green Square Library are already connected.