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Urban Storm Water Harvesting

Project Number # 3016

Urban Storm Water Harvesting: A New Approach - extended monitoring

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Background and Relevance

Suburban Water has demonstrated a methodology for substituting large volumes of potable water with harvested storm water in the irrigation of irrigated public open space in Melbourne, VIC. 

The concept is attractive, but it has been thought uneconomic and largely omitted from systematic, industry-wide consideration due to three intractable problems:

  1. Capturing economically meaningful volumes of storm water in a built-up urban landscape
  2. Storing this volume of storm water in a built-up urban landscape
  3. Transporting large volumes of storm water across built-up urban landscapes to usage sites easily, controllably and cheaply.

The project “recruits” domestic rainwater tanks to intercept storm water surges, preventing its usual loss to drainage.  The water is then progressively released, flows to a “Node” and is pumped into an aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) scheme.   As pumping to ASR is relatively slow (<20L/sec/bore), the tanks “elongate” the event enabling capture of far more water (up to 50 kL/average household each Melbourne winter).  Tanks are left full at the end of winter.