Altona Green Park - delivering water sensitive urban design solutions through a PPP process, with triple bottom line results
Altona Green Park is a community focussed development in Melbourne’s rapidly growing western suburbs, which has enhanced and grown recreational facilities shared by Altona Green Primary School and the local community.
The project is an outstanding example of public-private partnership at a micro level, delivering much needed local community infrastructure and producing outstanding economic, social and environmental results through the teamwork of engineers and local government.
The Project demonstrates how the Commitment of Engineers, Local Government and the Development Industry can collectively embrace best practice Water Sensitive Urban Design practice with a demonstrable triple bottom line result.
The Altona Green Park redevelopment was delivered through a partnership between local residents, the school community, local government, developers and consulting engineers - each party bringing their unique skills and knowledge to the project.
Altona Green Park is located within Melbourne Water’s Laverton drainage scheme, which outfalls to Port Phillip Bay. Increased urbanisation is resulting in increased hydraulic loads on the drainage network and is also affecting water quality at the drainage outfall and into the bay.
As part of the urban development, contribution fees would normally be payable to Melbourne Water to attenuate flows and remove pollutants from the stormwater runoff. By implementing cost effective and innovative engineering solutions the development was able to facilitate stormwater reuse for the sporting fields and other passive/landscape areas. This avoided payment of fees to Melbourne Water, the surplus funds instead being applied to the provision of community facilities and environmental outcomes.
The stormwater collection system for the subdivision component of the development differs significantly from most urban subdivisions. Rather than pipe stormwater runoff to the nearest outlet, stormwater runoff was seen as a useful commodity and therefore treated and captured.
Standout features that contributed to the success of this project included:
1. WATER REUSE - Future running costs and reliance on potable water have been greatly reduced by a system that collects, treats and reuses stormwater runoff from the subdivision and recreation areas and uses it to irrigate the sporting fields.
2. TREATMENT OF STORMWATER - Best practice onsite treatment of stormwater runoff means there is no need to pay Melbourne Water for offsite water treatment - a big cost saving for the community. It has also minimised potential impacts on sensitive ecological systems, such as that of the endangered Altona Skipper Butterfly.
3. STORMWATER RETENTION - The underground storage system for stormwater runoff makes cost effective, environmentally sustainable year round irrigation of the passive and active areas a reality. Another big cost saving to the community.
4. WETLANDS - The creation of an onsite wetland in an otherwise unproductive location assists stormwater treatment, promotes the protection of native fauna and provides an interpretive educational wetland for students at the primary school.
Subsequent water quality testing has further demonstrated the success of the design and the commitment by Council.