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This project reduces dependence on mains water by harvesting and reusing approximately 18 ML of water annually

Wally Tew Reserve

Wally Tew Reserve - SWH Undergound Tank Construction

Wally Tew Stormwater Harvesting Tank Under Terrace

Wally Tew Reserve Stormwater Harvesting Scheme

Knox City Council

Glenfern Road, Ferntree Gully, Melbourne, VIC 3156 | Map:

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Project Overview

The Wally Tew Reserve Stormwater Harvesting Scheme diverts stormwater from 33 hectares of predominantly low density residential catchment to provide an alternative source of water to irrigate the sports fields at Wally Tew Reserve, Ferntree Gully. The diverted water is pre-treated to remove gross pollutants, sediments and oils and then diverted to a below ground 600kL tank which is then filtered and UV treated prior to being used for irrigating the ovals. The Reserve is home to over 480 registered participants across both Cricket and Football and used as a regional festival venue including the Knox Festival and Knox Carols by Candlelight both of which attract tens of thousands of visitors each year.

An assessment of the Ground’s water requirements, surrounding catchment and existing drainage infrastructure indicates that up to 18 ML of stormwater per annum could be captured for reuse.

Drivers and Objectives

  • Conserve potable water
  • Utilise stormwater for irrigation
  • Improve stormwater quality
  • Reduce peak flows during storm events
  • Provide a safe playing surface
  • Minimise disruption to organised sports during prolonged drought periods
  • Engage the community on the benefits of Integrated Water Cycle Management


  • Knox City Council
  • Federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (Funding partner)
  • Office of Living Victoria (Funding partner)
  • Etlis Consulting (Design consultant)
  • Auswater Solutions (Construction contractors)

Project Outcomes

  • This project reduces dependence on mains water by harvesting and reusing approximately 18 ML of water annually, of which around 5ML will be used during the summer irrigation period.
  • The captured water is used to irrigate the main oval at Wally Tew Reserve which has been converted to warm season grass to further reduce demand for water.
  • Improves the quality of the stormwater entering Ferny Creek by removing litter and sediments.
  • The project helps Council work towards a 25% reduction in potable water use by 2015.

Lessons Learnt

  • Important to have key parts of the system remotely monitored (e.g. pumps, tank levels) to detect and address system faults quickly.
  • The inspection frequency of the Gross Pollutant Trap needs to be assessed regularly, taking into account the type of upstream catchment. The inspections in subsequent years can be adjusted based on the volume of litter and sediments being captured in the Gross Pollutant Trap.
  • The ongoing technical training of sportsground staff is fundamental to the success of the maintenance of the sportsground.
  • Engagement of the community should include an understanding of the urban water cycle which highlights - what is stormwater and how it is harvested.

Project Cost

  • The overall cost of the scheme is $506,000 which inlcudes design and construct.
  • Approximately $5,000 per year for operations, inspections, reactive and routine maintenance.


  • Conceptual design April 2008
  • Detailed design September 2012
  • Construction start March 2013
  • Construction completion June 2013


Sustainability Officer

T 03 9298 8000