Rainwater Collection

14.08.2003

The City of Whitehorse in Melbourne 's eastern suburbs has installed a unique rainwater use system. Rain which falls on a substantial roof area of the Whitehorse Civic Centre and the administrative offices is now collected, conserved and used as the supply to flush the public toilets of the building.

The rainwater collection system initially will help save up to 240 litres of drinking water a day, but potentially this could increase to 3,000 litres a day.

The rainwater use project has been developed as a co-operative venture between the City of Whitehorse, Yarra Valley Water the local regional supply authority and Davey Pumps which supplied the two electric pumps used in the system. A Davey stainless electric submersible pump with a float switch has been installed in the stormwater pit system where the rainfall runoff for the tank storage is collected. In turn a Davey XP 700 electric pressure system supplies the on demand needs of the public toilets from the storage tank. The rainwater is collected in a 31,500 litre polyethylene tank installed at the rear of the Council offices.

Davey spokesman, John Weaver, said that the increased attention being paid to water resources and their effective use, will result in far greater emphasis being placed on conserving and using rainfall run off in future. "Many metropolitan households overlook the fact that approximately 20% of their annual water usage is used in flushing toilets. In many parts of Australia a rainwater collection system will provide enough water in store to cover this need or could be used for such activities as garden watering or car washing. Davey Pumps has identified rainwater collection systems as a significant opportunity both for the existing electric pumps we supply and for some new product innovations which we have under development. Everyone in the community has a responsibility to look closely at rainwater collection and the conservation of valuable drinking water. Davey Pumps can help them do this."

Paul Booth, Plumbing Services, Yarra Valley Water( at rear) and City of Whitehorse Building Project Engineer Imants Bruns with the 31,500 litre stormwater storage tank at left and the Davey electric pressure system.

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