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Development & Infrastructure

Development & Infrastructure

Water Proofing the West

Stage One Project 

Water Proofing the West - Stage One Project is a unique, integrated Water Sensitive Urban Design solution to the challenges associated with stormwater management stormwater quality improvement, flood management and water supply management in a fully developed urban environment.

The vision for Water Proofing the West was to create a system that harvests, treats and stores water and distributes the recycled water through sections of western Adelaide.  The Project demonstrates multiple benefits of water reuse, water quality improvement, flood mitigation and bio-diversity, supporting many water sensitive cities principles. 

This Project was a major initiative by the City of Charles Sturt with a final Project Cost in the order of $71.5 Million; - it was a collaborative effort funded from nine funding bodies using water reuse and flood mitigation funds, with contributors from Local, State, and the Commonwealth Governments, a Private land developer and the West Lakes Golf Club.

The Project involved developing infrastructure capable of capturing and treating up to 2400 Mega litres of water and supplies recycled water to replace current and future potable water demands, as well as demonstrating sustainable groundwater resource use in the City of Charles Sturt area. 

Water assets were created across five linked sites and two stormwater catchments and containing approximately 11 Hectares of wetlands.  Water harvesting is enhanced with the capture of excess River Torrens water which would otherwise be discharged to sea.  The water is harvested, treated and stored in underground rock aquifers and subsequently distributed through approximately 36 kilometres of mains.   The mains provide harvested water to reserves, schools and Council’s pump station at St Clair for further treatment and reticulation through the ‘purple pipe’ system supplying water to new homes constructed in the St Clair residential development.

The project has five key elements with the following components:

  1. Old Port Road; Stormwater from the surrounding catchment and flows from the River Torrens are treated in 1Ha of wetlands as well as being diverted to Cooke Reserve and West Lakes Golf Course wetlands prior to aquifer storage and recovery.  This project component also includes flood mitigation works and stormwater drainage upgrades for the local stormwater catchment along Old Port Road.
  2. Cooke Reserve and West Lakes Golf Course; Partially treated water from the Old Port Road wetlands is diverted to 4Ha of wetlands in Cooke Reserve and West Lakes Golf Club plus bio-filters in Cooke Reserve, prior to storing the harvested water in the aquifer following water treatment.
  3. St Clair wetlands; Stormwater from the local and surrounding catchment and flows from the River Torrens are to be diverted to 6Ha wetlands for water treatment prior to aquifer storage. 
    Linking & Distribution Mains; Approximately 36 kilometres of Linking and Distribution Mains connect the St Clair, Old Port Road, Cooke Reserve and West Lakes Golf Course sites and distribute recycled water.
  4. River Torrens Diversion System; At Bonython Park excess river water is harvested and directed to the Old Port Road, Cooke Reserve, West Lakes Golf Course and St Clair wetlands.

Water Proofing the West - Stage One Project is a multi-objective project that:

  • Harvests up to 2400 Mega litres of stormwater treats, stores and distributes recycled water through parts of the City of Charles Sturt as an alternative water source.
  • Reduce flooding (improve flood mitigation) in the suburbs of Queenstown, Royal Park and Hendon.
  • Harvests excess River Torrens water that would otherwise discharge to the sea.
  • Reduce potable water usage for irrigation and other non-potable consumption.
  • Recharge aquifers, reducing the consumption of a natural resource which is being impacted and is becoming progressively more saline with usage.
  • Improve public amenity of the area.
  • Reduce the quantity of pollutants discharged into the marine environment. 

Benefits of the Project include: 

  • Creating an alternative water supply source for the community and supports the SA State Government in achieving its targets  as identified in the “Water for Good” Plan.
  • Reducing Flood Risk in the Old Port Road area.
  • Reducing the use of mains water and decreasing the reliance on River Murray Water.
  • Harvest excess River Torrens water that would otherwise discharge to the sea.
  • Economic benefit of cheaper water source for irrigation.
  • Reducing the discharge of nutrients to marine environment in Gulf St Vincent.
  • Ability to continue watering reserves during a drought with water restrictions.
  • Undergrounding of power lines and improving streetscape to Old Port Road a major arterial road in Adelaide.

 Uniqueness of the Project: 

  • Creating a large scale stormwater re-use project in a fully developed urban environment.
  • A collaborative effort involving Local, State, Federal Governments, a Private land developer, and a golf club.
  • Ability to capture stormwater and divert river water flows from outside council boundary and using existing stormwater infrastructure to convey it to wetlands.

Official Opening of the Project

The City of Charles Sturt, together with the State and Federal Governments, officially opened the Water Proofing the West – Stage One Project on Tuesday 16 December at the St Clair Development, Mayor Angela Evans and Charles Sturt staff were joined by Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, and the Hon Ian Hunter MLC, South Australian Minister for Water and the River Murray in officially opening this project.

“Some of the benefits of the project include reducing the flood risks, reducing the use of mains water and our reliance on the River Murray, harvesting excess water. We have now found a more affordable water source to irrigate Council areas, and by undergrounding power lines we have improved the look and feel of Old Port Road,” Mayor Angela Keneally said.

Official Opening - WPW

Left to right:
The Honourable Ian Hunter MLC, Mayor Angela Keneally and Senator the Honourable Simon Birmingham cut the ribbon at the Water Proofing the West – Stage One Project Official Opening.


Water Proofing the West - Latest News

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Mature European carp have been found in Cooke Reserve Wetlands. Carp are invasive pests which have many negative effects on the environment, which include:

Reducing water quality preventing the water from being harvested for reuse Carp uproot vegetation, burrow into the banks and stir up sediments during feeding leading to increased turbidity.

Increasing the chance of algal blooms Carp are known to prey on animals that feed on algae and stir up nutrients trapped in the bottom sediments causing blooms to occur.

Impacts on invertebrates Carp are known to feed on native invertebrates (small aquatic animals without backbones) damaging our bio diverse ecosystem.

Impacts on aquatic plants Carp have significant effects on native aquatic plants both through direct grazing and through uprooting plants while feeding.

Erosion Carp feeding habits involve burrowing into the banks of the wetlands uprooting vegetation and causing extensive damage to the water resistant liners that prevent water from escaping the wetlands.

Council is currently ensuring the carp introduced at Cooke Reserve Wetlands are removed, and residents may therefore notice a drop in water levels as water will be discharged to better enable their capture.

Please remember fishing is also not permitted in the wetlands as is any other recreational activities.

Should you see any unusual activity around the wetland please contact Council’s Customer Contact Centre on 8408 1111.

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