Western Water has installed a new stormwater pump station as part of the $900,000 Toolern Stormwater Harvesting Project, through which pumps treat stormwater from a wetland to Melton reservoir for use by Werribee irrigators.
Concrete components weighing more than eight tonnes have been craned into place to form the project’s pump station.
Western Water’s General Manager, Customer and Community Relations, Graham Holt, said the project will not only provide more water for irrigation, but it will also help protect Toolern Creek.
“During heavy rain, there is the potential for large volumes of stormwater to flow into the creek, washing pollutants in with it,” Mr Holt said.
“This project will capture around 150million litres of treated stormwater a year, so it can be pumped to Melton Reservoir to be re-used.”
The project is funded by Western Water and the Department of Land, Environment Water and Planning (DELWP), and includes a pipeline from the Atherstone development in Toolern to Melton Reservoir.
With the extra water allocated to irrigators, Western Water will be allocated more drinking water from Merrimu Reservoir as part of the project.
“It is a really innovative solution to managing stormwater, and, if successful, it will provide a blueprint for the rest of the Toolern development,” Mr Holt said.
The wetland will also add to the liveability of Atherstone, providing open space with walking tracks, native vegetation, and habitat for bird life.
The Atherstone development is expected to house around 12,000 residents, with Toolern eventually growing to 50,000 residents overall.