Golf club en­sur­ing wa­ter se­cu­rity

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY ROBERT MUIR

Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Golf Club Re­sort is about to em­bark on an en­vi­ron­men­tal project, in con­junc­tion with Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil, which will be of ben­e­fit not only to the golf course, but also its sur­round­ings and the Mur­ray River.

This ini­tia­tive in­volves tak­ing re­claimed wa­ter from nearby Mul­wala Sewage Treat­ment Plant to ir­ri­gate the golf course and to pro­vide wa­ter fea­tures through­out the fa­cil­ity. These wa­ter fea­tures will at­tract sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of bird life and pro­vide habi­tat for them and for na­tive wa­ter plants.

“Reg­u­la­tory ap­proval will be sought from the Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil to pro­vide the golf club re­sort with the re­claimed wa­ter out­flow from the ad­join­ing sewage treat­ment plant,” the club’s Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Richard Hogg told the Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle.

“This wa­ter is cur­rently be­ing dis­charged across golf club land and into the Mur­ray River.”

The wa­ter re-use had been se­ri­ously con­sid­ered by the club about 10 years ago. “The idea has been rein­tro­duced now that we have a new and ef­fi­cient ir­ri­ga­tion scheme with the pump­ing in­fras­truc­ture sit­u­ated quite handy to the coun­cil’s treat­ment plant,” Mr Hogg said.

“Based on pre­lim­i­nary dis­cus­sions with coun­cil, we now seem to be very well set-up to re­ceive and ef­fi­ciently ir­ri­gate our golf fa­cil­i­ties within the ex­pected re­quire­ments for reusing re­cy­cled wa­ter reuse.

“While we would ap­pear to have suf­fi­cient wa­ter rights to ir­ri­gate the fa­cil­ity in an av­er­age rain­fall year, it makes sense to utilise this re­source so close to our prop­erty.

“Our club is cur­rently equipped with so­lar power and other en­ergy and waste sav­ing projects so this op­por­tu­nity fits well with our club’s en­vi­ron­men­tal val­ues.”

The CEO re­cently in­spected Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s mod­ern $9 mil­lion sew­er­age treat­ment plant and was im­pressed with the fa­cil­ity, its op­er­a­tions and the qual­ity of wa­ter it is turn­ing back into the en­vi­ron­ment.

“It would be fan­tas­tic to see this pro- ject be suc­cess­ful, as it would help with the club’s se­cu­rity of wa­ter sup­ply es­sen­tial for the course dur­ing times of drought,” Mr Hogg said.

He said cur­rently only 20% of the club’s wa­ter rights are guar­an­teed with the bal­ance al­lo­cated by gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties de­pend­ing on in­flows and be­lieves the use of re­cy­cled wa­ter would ap­prox­i­mately dou­ble the guar­an­teed wa­ter sup­ply.

“It would be suf­fi­cient to keep the cour­ses in great con­di­tion dur­ing pe­ri­ods of drought,” Mr Hogg said.

“At 45 holes, our club is the largest pub­lic ac­cess course in Aus­tralia and one of the lead­ing tourist at­trac­tions to our re­gion. Keep­ing the course in great shape is there­fore good for our wider com­mu­nity.”

The vol­ume of re­cy­cled wa­ter dis­charged varies through­out the year and is at its high­est in the sum­mer when the club re­quires wa­ter the most. The to­tal av­er­age an­nual dis­charge is 250ML.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Gen­eral Man­ager Chris Gil­lard said Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil seek­ing reg­u­la­tory ap­proval to pro­vide the Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Golf Club Re­sort with its wa­ter out­flow from its ad­join­ing sew­er­age treat­ment plant made sense.

“The in­fras­truc­ture re­quired to trans­fer the wa­ter is rel­a­tively sim­ple and the club is well set up to re­ceive, mon­i­tor and dis­trib­ute the wa­ter with what they have done with their ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem in re­cent years,” he said.

“There are strict guide­lines and con­di­tions at­tached to re­cy­cled wa­ter reuse in NSW and to com­mis­sion such a project we will be li­ais­ing with reg­u­la­tory au­thor­i­ties in es­tab­lish­ing and meet­ing con­di­tions at­tached to an ap­proval.”

Golf club re­sort CEO Richard Hogg (left) with Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil’s Gen­eral Man­ager Chris Gil­lard and Mul­wala’s sew­er­age treat­ment plant, a Par 4 dis­tance, in the back­ground.

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