Tweed Shire Council has switched on a recycled water irrigation system at Cabarita Beach’s Les Burger sportsfield. The New South Wales Office of Water ensured that the recycled water was safe for use in a public space before starting the pumps for the first time.
The new irrigation system was built at a cost of $300,000, with assistance from a NSW State Government Community Water Grant of $50,000.
Councillor Barry Longland said “These sorts of initiatives are extremely important and form part of the Council’s demand management strategy.
“Over the course of a year, this irrigation system will save the Tweed some 55,000 litres of drinking water a day, which is the equivalent to supplying 134 homes,” said Cr Longland.
The system will use up to 10 per cent of the effluent from Hastings Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, which would otherwise by discharged through a dune exfiltration system.
The system switches on automatically at night between 10pm and 4am, but not after good rain or in windy conditions.
The irrigation system was welcomed by the Secretary of the Raiders Junior Rugby League Club Alison Williams.
“It’s great to be using recycled water,” said Alison. “And it’s great that our club knows when the season starts our field will be in top condition.”
One hundred and fifty juniors train on the fields over the course of the week and play most weekends during the season.
“This new irrigation system will make our field safer for the juniors and hopefully allow us to attract and host more events.”
Council upgraded the sports fields prior to installing the new irrigation system.
The home of the Junior Raiders and Cabarita Touch Football clubs now has a larger high-quality junior rugby league and touch field and an extended dead-ball zone behind the main field.
Safety on the fields has been improved by making them more visible from the roadway by clearing weeds and removing lower branches from a stand of trees adjacent to Tweed Coast Road.
“Council has used recycled water in the Tweed for more than 25 years but this is the first time it has been used on a sports field, proving that we have a high quality and safe recycled water product,” said Senior Engineer Capital Works Michael Wraight.
“All water, including recycled water, is a precious resource and a key element in Council’s water management strategy.”
Elsewhere in the Tweed, recycled wastewater is used to:
• keep Coolangatta-Tweed Heads and Chinderah golf courses in good condition
• feed the koalas at Currumbin Sanctuary from trees irrigated at Uki (reusing 100 per cent of the high-quality effluent from the village), and
• cool the water tower and boiler at Condong Mill ( uses all average dry-weather flow from the Murwillumbah Wastewater Treatment Plant).