A new stormwater harvesting system at Monbulk Recreation Reserve has been completed by Melbourne Water in partnership with Yarra Ranges Council and the Victorian Government.

The Monbulk Stormwater Harvesting project is a priority project for the Yarra Integrated Water Management (IWM) Forum, which is one of the five IWM Forums in Metropolitan Melbourne established through the Victorian Government’s IWM Program. 

The project was funded by the Victorian Government through the IWM Program. 

The Monbulk Stormwater Harvesting system captures, treats and uses stormwater from a council drain in McAlister Road, next to Monbulk Recreation Reserve, draining a 17ha catchment including Mt Pleasant Road, Moores Road, Main Road and David Hill Road in Monbulk.

The harvested stormwater is stored in underground tanks next to the sports field. This is used to irrigate the field and will allow community groups in Monbulk to enjoy a well-watered sports reserve, while contributing to waterway health and the security of our drinking water supply into the future.

Melbourne Water’s Incentives Coordinator for Waterways and Catchment Services North West, Micah Pendergast, said, “This is a great step forward for the Monbulk community, making use of alternative water sources – like recycled water and stormwater – reduces pressure on our drinking water supplies while improving the liveability of our communities.”

The system will harvest approximately four million litres of stormwater per year and is hoped to reduce reliance on drinking water supplies and reduce stormwater pollution to Emerald Creek, Woori Yallock Creek, the Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay. 

In addition, it is expected to protect water quality in Emerald Creek, supporting the breeding platypus population.

Stormwater harvesting involves collecting, treating, storing and using stormwater runoff from urban areas. It differs from rainwater harvesting as it includes the water runoff from roads, carparks and driveways, rather than just the cleaner rainwater runoff from roofs. 

The harvesting pumps were commissioned on 20 September 2023 and the system is now operational. 

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