Waterproofing Ceduna whilst protecting the marine environment

Article image - Waterproofing Ceduna whilst protecting the marine environment Trevor Eden inspects the irrigation system at Ceduna.

With the South Australian Government announcing that the price of potable water is expected to double within the next few years, Ceduna District Council has begun an ambitious program to waterproof the town.

General Manager of Operations Grant Drummond said funding totalling $740,000 through the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns program and $120,000 through the SA Recreation and Sport facilities program has been obtained to upgrade treated wastewater storage and irrigation systems.

The District Council of Ceduna is the most western Local Government area of South Australia located 780 kilometres by road from Adelaide.

Grant Drummond said the project will totally renew all of the irrigation systems in most of the district's community open spaces and sporting grounds.

"The direct environmental benefit of being able to store and use treated wastewater from the new Wastewater Treatment Plant to irrigate these areas, which will substantially reduce our community's reliance on South Australian Water's potable water supplies." he said.

To be completed by Christmas, the total project will involve:

  • Constructing a 80 megalitre lined retention lagoon adjacent to the Ceduna Community Wastewater Scheme treatment plant, maximising water reuse and preventing leaching.
  • Installing 5 hectares of subsurface irrigation to Ceduna Foreshore Lawns enabling use of treated wastewater irrigation to this area, replacing the potable water irrigation.
  • Installing of a new subsurface irrigation system at Thevenard Sporting Grounds Oval enabling use of treated wastewater to replace potable water irrigation
  • Modifying and expanding of the irrigation network and providing pop up irrigation at Ceduna Golf Course to enable the use of treated wastewater to irrigate fairways
  • Install subsurface irrigation system at Ceduna Sports Ground enabling use of treated wastewater to irrigate the oval.

This equates to around 14 hectare of turf watered with new irrigation infrastructure and following a competitive tendering process council has selected Greene Eden Watering Systems to undertake the project. Greene Eden brings to the project vast experience in installing sub-surface irrigation systems both in city and remote locations.

Sub-surface drip was an obvious choice for the foreshore and oval areas. By installing the irrigation system sub-surface we can; overcome issues with the effect of wind in irrigation placement, prevent contact with treated wastewater and reduce the volume of water required for maintenance of the turf. John Deere Waters' new JDW D3000 Drip Fender trip tube has been selected for this project as it has; root inhibiting crystals in the drip emitter to prevent root intrusion into the pipe, contains an anti-siphon feature to prevent fouling of the emitter and pressure compensating drippers to ensure even watering application.

The central contractor Green Eden is responsible for most of the project.

General Manager Kathryn Eden said it was innovative and will be a successful project.

"As the company is based in Adelaide, and Ceduna is an eight hour drive away, the project required extensive planning to ensure its success," she said.

"Once the planning had been properly executed, the actual physical work was quite straight forward."

"Sub-surface drip irrigation was the obvious choice because of its acceptability for wastewater re-use and the fact that it doesn't suffer from wind-deflection - a problem in some vulnerable coastal areas."

"We worked extensively with the sporting groups who manage the grounds to the point where they helped with the laying out some parts of the irrigation system."

"It is being done under strict supervision, by Trevor Eden MD of Greene Eden to ensure the companies high standards for installing irrigation systems is maintained, but it means that the clubs know how the system is set up."

"This will help when they have to erect anything on the site in the future"

"We programmed the works to ensure we did not disrupt events such as football finals and the Ceduna Oysterfest."

"In order, also, to make the best use of the available water, the irrigation systems will be remotely managed and monitored in accordance with evapotranspiration figures"

Grant Drummond said the reduced cost of using treated wastewater for irrigation is not only environmentally sustainable but will ensure that the sporting associations remain viable and that Council can maximise its limited resources and still provide quality open space for the residents and visitors to the region.

He said there were strong environmental benefits achieved by replacing potable water use, such as reducing draws from existing ground water basins, reducing the draw from the Murray River and utilising an existing water source to maintain open public space and sporting grounds within the District. By using sub surface irrigation and smart irrigation control that will vary the application rates based on daily evaporation, with data provided by an on site weather station, additional environmental and cost benefits are achieved as around 50 million litres less water will be required to maintain turf on these areas.

For further information contact Grant Drummond on (08) 8625 3407 or Greene Eden on (08) 8262 8460.