The Aquarevo Discovery Centre, a south-east Melbourne residential development by South East Water and Villawood Properties, is implementing innovative uses of rain and water recycling to reduce supply needs.
The innovative use of rainwater and recycled water will enable Aquarevo residents to cut drinking water demand by up to 70 per cent, the equivalent of 1.2 million showers, and reduce stormwater run-off by 25 per cent – which are unprecedented outcomes for a greenfields residential development.
Each water source in the homes have been specifically chosen for its intended use, and integrated into the supply using technology and systems developed and proven by South East Water.
Kevin Hutchings, Managing Director of South East Water, said, “Using our technology and innovation expertise, South East Water has shown with Aquarevo that there’s a better way to use water at home – without losing the health and liveability this precious resource offers us.
“We’re excited about what this means for our customers, and for the broader water industry.”
The estate will also house an onsite water recycling plant connected via an intelligent pressure sewer network.
Central to the Aquarevo home is the rain to hot water system, in which rainwater is captured from the roof and stored in a tank at each property.
The rainwater undergoes screening, filtration, UV and heat treatment before supplying hot water taps in the shower, bath, laundry trough and clothes washing machine.
Drinking water is automatically supplied to the hot water system as a backup if there is no rainwater in the tank.
Villawood Properties Director, Rory Costello, said, “Villawood Properties creates all its communities with sustainability – in every sense – as a central component and Aquarevo, with its water and energy initiatives, is the latest iteration of this approach.
“We believe that this project will serve as a standout example of effective collaboration between the government and private sectors.
“We are very proud to collaborate with such an innovative authority, with such a clear commitment to applying new technologies to achieve good environmental outcomes.
“This will be a high quality residential community where families can positively impact the environment just by moving in.”
Recycled water also plays a key role in reducing Aquarevo’s reliance on Melbourne’s water supplies.
Class A recycled water, the highest quality recycled water available, will be produced by a fully enclosed, onsite water recycling plant, which will treat all wastewater from the estate, and return it to each home for use in toilets, gardens and, optionally, washing machines.
Aquarevo homes will also take advantage of South East Water’s OneBox technology to intelligently manage water use and monitor energy consumption within the home.
The small wall-mounted device will be installed at each property and monitor all water use in the home.
The OneBox technology will:
- Enable Tank Talk, a rainwater tank feature that gathers data from the Bureau of Meteorology, and decides if and when water should be released from the tank prior to a rainfall event. This helps to reduce stormwater flooding and keeps tankwater fresh
- Control and monitor the hot water system, and the temperature of hot water leaving the hot water unit
- Allow South East Water to remotely monitor and control the estate’s pressure sewer network and regulate sewer flows
Aquarevo properties will be the first homes in Australia able to track and monitor all energy and water use in near real-time on a single app.
Homeowners will be able to visualise usage patterns, and adjust usage behaviour to become even more water and energy efficient.
All Aquarevo homes will also be fitted with a minimum solar panel installation of 2.5KW, and will be battery and mini-grid ready.
Aquarevo is being developed on the site of a decommissioned water purification plant.