What is the Angus Creek stormwater harvesting and reuse scheme?
Blacktown City Council, in partnership with the Australian Government, has built the Angus Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme that will provide a sustainable water supply for the world class sporting facilities at Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney. The scheme diverts storm flows from Angus Creek, allowing us to collect and reuse 200 million litres of stormwater per year; this is equivalent to 80 Olympic sized swimming pools. The water will be used to irrigate the Blacktown International Sportspark Sydney, Anne Aquilina Reserve, Kareela Reserve and Charlie Bali Reserve, and top up the ornamental lakes in Nurragingy Reserve.
Blacktown as a water sensitive city
Blacktown City Council is committed to improving the way we manage water to provide resilience to the impacts of climate change and population growth, while ensuring sustainable management of water resources and the protection of our unique aquatic environment. This stormwater harvesting scheme allows Council to secure a sustainable water supply throughout the year and will improve the health of Angus Creek by diverting damaging storm flows.
What is stormwater?
Rain falling on your roof, driveway, pavement and footpath flows untreated into the street gutters and is carried away through a system of stormwater drainage pipes. These pipes carry stormwater and pollution that is collected from our streets into our local waterways.
The project was funded by Blacktown City Council through the Environmental Stormwater Management Program and the Australian Government’s National Urban Water and Desalination Plan: Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Grants. The Australian Government grant of $2.2 million was matched by Blacktown City Council.
How does the system work?
Off take point
Angus Creek is fed by a highly urbanised catchment that encompasses the suburbs of Rooty Hill and Minchinbury. Angus Creek catchment is 655 hectares in size and generates about 2 billion litres of stormwater each year. Water is only harvested in storm events and the environmental flow in the creek is not altered. After the stormwater is diverted from the creek it is collected in a dam, where it settles, the water is pumped through a steel mesh cage which prevents pollution such as rubbish and organic matter from entering the system.
The collected stormwater is pumped from the offtake point to the storage ponds surrounding the AFL and cricket fields. Here, the majority of sediment and heavy metals will drop to the bottom of the ponds. Floating wetland rafts have been installed to remove nutrients and pollutants from the water. The ponds store up to 7 million litres of water, equivalent to 3 Olympic swimming pools.
After the storage ponds, the water will be pumped into a wetland system. The wetland has a dense covering of aquatic plants that absorb excess nutrients, heavy metals and hydrocarbons. This will act as a polishing system for the water and reduce the amount of mechanical treatment required at later stages.
Treatment and storage tanks
A mechanical treatment system further filters the water so it is suitable to use for irrigation. Once the water reaches the storage tanks it is suitable to be pumped around the Sportspark and across to Anne Aquilina Reserve, Charlie Bali Reserve, Kareela Reserve, and Nurragingy Reserve to be used for irrigation.
What are the main benefits of the project?
- Stormwater harvesting reduces Council’s water bill each year - the switch from mains water to harvested stormwater will reduce funding spent on water bills.
- Stormwater harvesting provides a reliable source of water- in drought conditions water restrictions could impact the sporting teams that use the fields. This project will ensure that the managers of the sporting fields can irrigate the fields even during water restriction periods.
- This project improves the condition of the creek - by harvesting stormwater during rain events there will be a reduction of nutrients and pollutants travelling downstream into Eastern Creek. Large amounts of stormwater can cause creek bank erosion creating unfavourable conditions for our local wildlife. Reducing the amount of stormwater in our waterways, via stormwater harvesting, can reduce erosion and result in more favourable conditions for native species, such as the Australian Bass.
- The scheme is carbon neutral – to offset the electricity used by the scheme a 40KW solar panel system is installed at Council’s Rooty Hill Depot making the scheme carbon neutral.
You can download an information brochure on the Angus Creek Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Scheme here.
A case study on the Angus Creek Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Scheme is available here.
For more information on the Angus Creek Stormwater Harvesting Scheme contact:
Blacktown City Council's Catchment Projects Officer, Waterways