Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

Alderman Stuart Slade

Glenorchy City Council Mayor

Derwent Park Stormwater Harvesting project begins

Media release
9 July 2012

Construction began today on the Derwent Park Stormwater Harvesting and Industrial Reuse project, which will save about 476 megalitres of water a year at the Nyrstar Hobart Smelter and Moonah Primary School.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, and Glenorchy Mayor Stuart Slade today turned the sod to officially mark the start of construction.

Senator Farrell said the scheme would reduce demand on drinking water supplies and reduce the impact of urban run-off on local waterways.

“The scheme will harvest stormwater from the Derwent Park catchment, treat it and supply it to the Nyrstar Hobart Smelter and Moonah Primary School,” he said.

“This project will replace the equivalent of more than 190 Olympic-sized swimming pools of drinking-quality water with treated stormwater to be used in industrial processes at the smelter and for the irrigation of gardens and sports ovals at Moonah Primary School.”

Glenorchy Mayor Stuart Slade said the project will benefit both the city and its industries and was a perfect fit for the Council’s and the community’s goals for the future.

“Glenorchy is leading the State and also the country, in terms of innovation – for construction, sustainability and environmental values,” Alderman Slade said.

“Long-term, the benefits for the community will be realised for the next 50 years, because it is being built to be upgraded and improved into the future to include other water uses and to achieve further environmental outcomes by removing more pollutants.”

Nyrstar General Manager Jeremy Kouw said the company will initially access 1.5 megalitres of harvested stormwater daily.

“This project fits one of Nyrstar’s key sustainability objectives – to improve our natural resource efficiency, including the use of raw materials, energy and water,” Mr Kouw said.

“By utilising this stormwater resource, we are reducing the amount of drinking water extracted from the Derwent River and helping to minimise stormwater impacts on the Estuary – a dual benefit for both our company and the Glenorchy community.”

Labor Senator for Tasmania Carol Brown said the project, which delivers on a 2010 election commitment, will improve the amenity of the school oval and also provide an opportunity to educate students and parents on stormwater harvesting and reuse.

The Australian Government is investing $9.2 million in the Derwent Park project through its National Urban Water and Desalination Plan, which funds urban water infrastructure and research that improves the security of water supplies in Australia's larger cities.

Labor Senator for Tasmania Catryna Bilyk said the project demonstrates the ability of local communities and all levels of government to work together to increase the security of water supplies and achieve key environmental benefits for current and future generations.

Securing a sustainable, safe water supply for all Australians is a key priority for the Australian Government which is being achieved through projects supported by the Water for the Future initiative.