Council currently operates rainwater and stormwater schemes throughout the Willoughby LGA. In addition to maintaining these, Council aims to expand its alternative water supply projects to reduce the demand on potable mains water.
Stormwater harvesting catchment areas are an important preventive measure for addressing health and environmental risks. Appropriate catchment management activities for a stormwater harvesting and reuse scheme include:
- installing water quality treatment systems upstream of harvesting locations;
- enforcing building site sediment and erosion controls;
- applying development controls that encourage water sensitive design and sustainable building practices;
- auditing and educating staff in commercial and industrial premises within the catchment, focusing on those presenting the most risk of stormwater pollution; and
- minimising sewer overflows.
The cost of constructing and maintaining water harvest systems is very high with the current technology available. To ensure water security and continued supply of harvested stormwater, Council is focused on centralised water harvest and treatment facilities. The next few years will see Council modify and expand the current water harvest facilities to increase the amount of water they can process for reuse. Concurrently Council will begin to build a network of pipelines to transfer the harvested water to parks for reuse in irrigation of lawns, toilets and tree watering.