An alliance of businesses in the business of water

WIA members discuss the future of wastewater

March 22, 2017

SA recycles a higher percentage of ‘wastewater’ than any other State in Australia; and the cooling effect of irrigating Adelaide’s parklands rather than allowing them to brown off each summer cools the City by 12 degrees.

These were just two of the facts which came up at the March Members Night staged by the WIA with the AWA and timed to commemorate World Water Day, which has Wastewater as its theme this year.

Presenters Greg Ingleton from SA Water and Gary Beveridge from the City of Tea Tree Gully left the packed house of more than 70 people in no doubt that water re-use is multi-faceted and has a great future ahead.

Greg says the Bolivar scheme of providing water to market gardeners started 22 years ago and is now worth $400 million dollars a year in horticultural production. “Recycled water is packed with nutrients and trace elements – in fact its ‘goodness’ is worth about $100/hectare/year to producers”, he told the audience.

“Recycled water is a reliable source – it’s always there and it’s always the same quality.

“We now know wastewater is too valuable to be discharged to the sea and there’s a huge emergence of two other options – environmental/liveability uses such as irrigating parklands; and economic development such as food production.

Gary Beveridge from the City of Tea Tree Gully detailed that City’s development of a Waste Water Management Plant since 2009, largely driven by needs of the City’s 4650 CWMS properties, environmental requirements, sustainability and water security and generating benefits including a reliable, resilient and robust water supply; drought security; environmental sustainability; and the provision of water that’s fit for purpose – for example, supplies to schools and sporting clubs.

Gary was joined by Anu Atukorala from Mount Barker Council, Michelle Wittholz from SA Health and Nathan Silby from Wallbridge & Gilbert for a far-ranging panel discussion.

WIA CEO Rachel Barratt rounded off the panel session by asking all four whether they are positive about the future of wastewater management and supply in SA.

All four gave enthusiastic support, citing rapid developments in science and technology as underlying an exciting future.

Apart from being a great source of knowledge and information, WIA Members’ Nights are a fantastic opportunity for networking and informal discussion of industry news and developments.