The Blackmans Swamp Stormwater Harvesting Scheme signals a revolution in the way urban stormwater runoff is viewed and utilised by water authorities and the general public. The project is the first large scale stormwater harvesting scheme in Australia which intentionally harvests stormwater for drinking water supplies.
It is an innovative solution which helps underpin the security of Orange’s future water supplies, capable of providing up to 30% of the city’s current annual water requirements. The scheme is simple in concept and makes use of existing infrastructure.
The project evolved from problem identification to operational reality within 18 months whilst meeting the necessary legislative, environmental and community consultation requirements, on time and within budget.
The first harvested stormwater has been transferred to the primary water supply reservoir and is an important milestone in the development of an integrated system designed to secure Orange’s future water supply.
The scheme commenced operation in March 2009, with the first harvested stormwater transferred to Suma Park Dam on 21 April 2009. There were 36 harvesting events in the first year of operation which have provided an extra 582ML for Orange’s water supplies. Over 182 tonnes of rubbish have been removed from the two GPTs since they have been installed.
Water quality data indicates that the treated stormwater added to Suma Park Dam meets the scheme targets, is better quality than the raw creek water and similar to the existing water in the dam. The water quality data demonstrates that simple treatment with the use of a flocculant and settling easily achieves the scheme quality objectives.