Willows oval synthetic conversion

Two sports fields on Willows Oval were converted from grass to 4th generation synthetic turf to save water.

The conversion eliminated the need to irrigate the playing surface and the installation of a 500kl underground water tank allows up to 7½ million litres of rainwater to be captured each year. This rainwater is now used to irrigate other landscaped areas on campus.

Outcomes

No irrigation required

More than 15 million litres of water are saved annually.

Capturing rainwater

The capture and redistribution of rainwater further reduce the use of potable water on campus. Water from the underground rainwater tanks is used on nearby grassed areas and the landscape surrounding the CS&IT and RSISE buildings across North Road.

Reduced energy and resources for maintenance

Maintenance costs have been significantly reduced. Mowing, fertilising, weed and pest control are no longer required, reducing both energy use and chemical run-off into Sullivans Creek.

Improved playing surface

The new synthetic surface is FIFA certified and suitable for all football codes, cricket and hockey. Playing time has been increased from 500 to 2000 hours per year and, unlike grass pitches, play can continue during wet weather without causing damage to the field.

Project funding

The project was jointly funded by ANU, the ANU Sport and Recreation Association and the Australian Government through a Green Precincts grant.