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Melbourne Markets rainwater re-use system project

Our Melbourne Markets Stormwater Harvesting Project will save more than 48 million litres of drinking water every year, and ensure that nearby sporting fields and gardens can be watered sustainably in the future, especially during drought periods.

Project benefits

This project will provide the following long-term benefits:

  • sustainable irrigation of local sporting fields and gardens
  • cost savings of approximately $96,000 each year through reduced reliance on drinking water (which will cost more because of the Wonthaggi desalination plant and infrastructure upgrades)
  • flood prevention by harvesting and using stormwater locally, to moderate the flow to local rivers and streams
  • minimise the impact of climate change-related weather changes such as more hot and dry days, drought, and increased rainfall intensity during storms

How the harvesting works

When it rains, stormwater will be collected from the roof and paved areas of the relocated Melbourne Market in Epping, stored and then used to water the:

  • proposed Mosaic sports fields in Lalor
  • Whittlesea Public Gardens in Lalor
  • RGC Cook Reserve sports fields in Thomastown

Water from the market's 40 hectares of pavement and 15 hectares roof areas will be drained into artificial wetlands in the south east of the market site, cleaned naturally and then pumped to the 4 local sports reserves.

Water storage

Excess water flows from the Melbourne Markets Wetlands will be pumped to an underground storage tank beneath the future Mosaic ovals site.

The underground tank at Mosaic ovals will also be supplemented with stormwater runoff from the Carlingford and Mosaic Living estates.

Harvesting system construction

Construction of the project began in July 2012 and will be completed by late-2013.

The main construction works include:

  • installing a pumping station and rising main at the Melbourne Markets Wetlands to pump stormwater to the Mosaic ovals
  • constructing a 3 million litre underground water storage tank at Mosaic ovals (the site of the old golf course dam next to Mosaic Drive in Lalor)
  • installing 3 x 75,000 litre above ground water tanks at Whittlesea Public Gardens

Construction status

The following works were completed in March, April and May 2013:

  • placement  of 250 tank modules (each weighing up to 7 tonnes) to create the finished modular storage tank structure
  • each tank module individually sealed at the base and top to be water-tight
  • tank modules covered with soil
  • pumping station installed at Melbourne Markets Wetlands
  • rising mains installed to pump tank water from Mosaic ovals to Whittlesea Gardens and RGC Cook Reserve
  • Whittlesea Gardens pump irrigation
  • Melbourne Markets wetlands electrical poles

Current and future works include:

  • irrigation installation at Mosaic ovals and RGC Cook Reserve (September 2013)
  • constructing the Mosaic ovals sports fields 

Future extensions

In the future, we may extend the irrigation supply to HR Uren Reserve, Huskisson Avenue Reserve, Thomas Street Reserve and Main Street Recreation Reserve.

This could save an extra 40 million litres of drinking water, and $80,000 each year.

Project funding and costs

This $3.4 million project is jointly funded by the City of Whittlesea and the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative:

  • City of Whittlesea - $1.7 million (excluding extra contributions for the construction of the sports ovals and associated facilities)
  • Australian Government funding - $1.7 million

The majority of the project cost relates to constructing underground storage tanks at Mosaic ovals.