Since 2003 the University has used up to 31 million litres of recycled wastewater each year for irrigation of the campus landscape. The water is supplied from the North Canberra Water Reclamation Plant and, in addition to saving the equivalent amount of potable water each year, using it for landscape irrigation on campus reduces the volume of water which needs to be treated at Canberra's Lower-Mongolo Water Treatment Plant.
The conversion of Willows Oval to synthetic turf in 2010 has allowed the 15 million litres of wastewater which was previously used each year to water the oval to be re-allocated to other areas of the landscape, such as University Avenue and Fellows Oval. Redistributing the water required more than 600m of new piping to be installed on campus. The project utilised directional drilling to minimise the impact on the landscape. The method requires only minimal digging and no trenching because the drilling rig bores a hole on a slight angle to the ground surface and pulls through the pipe, installing it at the same time. This meant that the entire 600m length of pipe was installed with only five entry and exit holes.
Minimal disruption to landscape
The project utilised directional drilling methods which negated the need for open cut trenches, significantly reducing the disturbance to green landscapes and infrastructure.
Potable water savings
Approximately 15 million litres of potable water is saved per year.