Outstanding Water Conservation at Blacktown Showground

09 Dec 2014
Blacktown Showground WSUD Redevelopment
Last Tuesday, the LG NSW Excellence in the Environment Awards were held at the UTS Aerial Function Centre and showcased 49 outstanding projects from around New South Wales. This year the Water Directorate was pleased to sponsor a new award for Water Conservation, replacing our sponsorship of the defunct Environmental Best Practice Award for Local Water Utilities.

The overall winner of the Water Conservation award was Blacktown City Council for the Blacktown Showground Precinct Water Sensitive Urban Design Redevelopment. This project represents a holistic integration of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) principles into a significant recreational space for the community. 

Prior to redevelopment, the creek that ran through the centre of the site from west to east was regularly inundated with storm surges, causing significant erosion. Over time, large quantities of sediment were removed and carried downstream. Water quality testing was undertaken in 2011, which identified the polluted nature of stormwater entering the site (particularly during storm events). The results showed high levels of oils, heavy metals and litter. As a result, Blacktown City Council resolved to ensure that water leaving the site was better quality than stormwater entering the site.

The Blacktown Showground WSUD Redevelopment, therefore, had four main objectives:

1. Reduce potable water consumption
2. Reduce bank erosion and the export of material off-site
3. Improve the quality of stormwater leaving the site
4. Create an example of how to integrate WSUD principles in a project that is inclusive of the community.

Two highly commended awards were also presented to Manly Council for its project Stormwater Harvesting in the Burnt Bridge Creek Catchment and Hurstville City Council for its Peakhurst Light Industrial Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse Scheme. Both these projects demonstrated excellent water conservation principles and delivered great results for their councils and communities. 

Congratulations to Blacktown City Council for outstanding leadership in water conservation and innovative WSUD development. Congratulations also to the two highly commended projects and all the nominees in this category. The Water Directorate looks forward to continuing our sponsorship of this important local government award in 2015.
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