Planning has begun for Yarra Valley Water to construct a new underground recycled water facility in Doncaster, in Melbourne’s east.
The facility is designed to allow nearby residents to save drinking water and reduce their water bills.
The facility will deliver Class A recycled water to more than 5,000 households in the Doncaster Hill precinct for flushing toilets, watering gardens and washing cars, and will also provide drought-proof water for local sports grounds and parks.
Work is underway to assess the feasibility of building the new facility at the Tram Road Reserve in Doncaster. Locals will have the opportunity to find out more at community drop-in sessions this month.
Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said that a growing population and a changing climate requires a smart and sustainable approach to the way water is used.
“Saving water and making recycled water more accessible is vital as Melbourne’s population grows,” Ms Neville said.
“This project will save 2.5 million litres of valuable household drinking water each week and support the community’s health and well-being by drought-proofing local infrastructure.”
The underground facility will be similar to the MCG’s recycled water facility in Yarra Park and will provide an opportunity to enhance Tram Road Reserve, with community input.
Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said that the plan to bring recycled water to Doncaster considered both community and environmental needs.
“Providing recycled water to this area is part of Yarra Valley Water’s plan to conserve precious drinking water supplies, particularly in infill areas where 70 per cent of Melbourne’s growth is occurring,” Mr McCafferty said.
“Climate change is affecting the reliability of our traditional water supplies and our suburbs are getting drier and hotter. It makes sense to use alternative water to service this growth while helping keep our sports grounds and parks lush and green.
“While we’re still confirming the feasibility of Tram Road Reserve, we believe this location will have the lowest impact on the community, especially as the facility will be underground.”
Yarra Valley Water has undertaken significant planning and design activities, in consultation with Melbourne Water and the North East Link Project (NELP), to assess the feasibility of undergrounding the facility.
The process to identify a suitable site has been extensive, with an Independent Panel assessing a number of locations in the area and obtaining community input from local residents.
The location at Tram Road Reserve was the second preference identified by the Panel. The Panel’s first preference at Eram Park is no longer considered a feasible location for an underground facility as the area provides important flood water storage, and this has been confirmed with Melbourne Water and NELP.
Mr McCafferty said that considering past community feedback and working with the NELP has been integral to the process so far.
“Throughout this process we’ve taken the time to respond to community feedback and work closely with the North East Link project team to integrate both projects,” he said.
“This facility is a positive step towards building a portfolio of alternative sources of water that will contribute to a resilient and liveable Melbourne now and in the future.”
Yarra Valley Water will discuss options with the City of Manningham for drought-proofing local sports grounds and parks with recycled water.