Watering our parks and reserves

To make the most of precious stormwater, we are capturing, harvesting and reusing it through an extensive water reuse pipe network.  Stormwater is distributed from locations across the City to a large number of parks and reserves, sports fields and schools along with meeting construction, industrial and municipal demands.

Watering grass

Council reserves in newer subdivisions such as Seaford Meadows are irrigated with reclaimed water and are not subject to the same restrictions as those that rely on mains water. Additionally, in many situations reserves have not yet been handed over to the Council and under those circumstances will generally be maintained by the developers until the surrounding blocks are sold. Obviously it is in the best interests of the developers to maintain those areas at a high level, which, in the longer term usually proves to be unsustainable.

We are using water saving technology and have installed Rain Bird IQ central irrigation control units at high water-consuming reserves and sports ovals.  Historically we could only manually turn irrigation systems off by visiting each of our 226 reserves and sports ovals, which  meant that we couldn’t turn irrigation systems off in time to save water when we had rain during summer months but with the new system we can instantly turn it off using a desktop computer or mobile phone. The system has now been installed at 16 sporting facilities and 27 reserves and we aim to roll it out to all council irrigation system.  The system has the ability to identify, notify and disarm any leaks on a daily basis. 

The Willunga Basin Wastewater Company is the major distributer of treated wastewater within the region pumping treated wastewater to more than 140 users and providing water to more than 4000 acres of land within the McLaren Vale region for grape growing, fruit trees, nut crops and flowers. 

Other water saving strategies we use include:

  • using treated wastewater to irrigate the Willunga Golf Course and the Sports Complex and Brodie Crescent Reserve at O’Sullivan Beach
  • reducing irrigated turf area
  • increasing the use of drip and subsurface irrigation
  • eliminating daylight watering
  • selecting new plants that are indigenous to the area or native and drought resistant
  • using water retaining crystals when planting and mulching
  • using dust suppressant materials as part of road maintenance instead of water.

As part of our Green Buildings Initiative we harvest stormwater at a number of our sites for toilet and urinal flushing and rain gardens treat car park stormwater prior to it discharging into the creek.

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) is about integrating water cycle management into urban planning and design. WSUD looks to manage the impacts of stormwater from development with the aim of protecting and improving waterway health by mimicking the natural water cycle as closely as possible.