Stormwater Harvesting

Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme

Scheme Overview

The Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme was built to provide an alternative, secure and sustainable source of water supply to the Rural City of Murray Bridge.

The Scheme harvests stormwater from eight basins and wetlands across Murray Bridge and transports it to a lined lagoon at Gifford Hill for long‐term storage. When needed for irrigation, raw stormwater is pumped from the lagoon to the new treatment plant on Old Swanport Road, from which the treated stormwater is transported via distribution pumps and pipelines to the City’s irrigation system.

The Scheme was delivered by the Rural City of Murray Bridge, in partnership with the Australian Government, the Murray Bridge Racing Club and the Gifford Hill Joint Venture. The total budget of $14.23 million was supported through $7.115 million of funding from the Australian Government’s National Urban Water and Desalination Plan, to match the co‐contribution from Council and in‐kind works from the Gifford Hill Joint Venture. The Scheme was completed on time and within budget, and with an impeccable safety record.

The Australian Government funding agreement required the Scheme to decrease reliance on the River Murray and reduce potable water demand by up to 172 ML annually. Through careful planning, design and management the yield from the Scheme is expected to be approximately 230 ML annually, based on average rainfall in Murray Bridge. Of this 230ML, the irrigation demand supplied is expected to comprise 110 ML of water use by Council and 60 ML of water use from each of the Murray Bridge Racing Club and Murray Bridge Golf Club.

The Scheme has also made provision for the connection of future pump stations at the Newbridge (Old Racecourse) and Gifford Hill development sites. Once these pump stations are installed and the developments are completed, the total harvestable volume for the Scheme may exceed 700 ML annually.

The Scheme generates a net benefit to water quality in the River Murray near Murray Bridge by reducing pollutant loads discharged into the river, and also through the inclusion of water quality improvement measures such as vegetated swales and wetlands at the harvesting sites.

The Scheme has improved the drainage performance and level of flood protection provided by

Council’s stormwater drainage system, notably through the provision of new pump stations and a control system that enables Council to remotely monitor the water levels at the basin and wetland sites and adjust pump rates and sequencing to manage flood risk in real time.

The Scheme uses green energy to reduce Council’s carbon footprint, including two solar powered pump stations, and enables Council to achieve improved amenity at public reserves and a higher standard of playing surfaces at sporting fields. Over 6,000 seedlings and advanced trees were planted in and around the project sites, along with 7,000 metres of direct seeding to establish new trees and shrubs.

The Scheme has provided opportunities for renewal and improvement of Council’s existing stormwater assets, and has provided the strategic stormwater infrastructure that is necessary to support the planned growth of the city over the next 20 years. The Scheme has also been

“future‐proofed” to enable expansion across Murray Bridge and the surrounding region, and to facilitate a future regional water diversification scheme that links Murray Bridge to the District

Council of Mount Barker to provide a secure, sustainable and diverse water supply for this Growth Corridor and further reduce dependence on the River Murray.

Due to the current very dry conditions across the Murray‐Darling Basin, it was recently announced that the minimum opening allocations for extraction from the River Murray in 2016/17 shall be reduced to 36%. Similar water restrictions during the drought years of 2006 through to 2010, when Council’s water allocation dropped as low as 18% in 2008/09, resulted in significant “browning off” and degradation of Council’s reserves and sporting fields. Fortunately the Scheme is now fully operational, and with the lagoon already at 15% capacity at the start of the winter harvesting season, Council are in a strong position to prevent a repeat of the devastating impacts of the drought and to sustain the amenity of the City’s parks and reserves.

The project will benefit the Murray Bridge community and the health of the River Murray for generations to come. It is a fine example of how a community can work together to harness a valuable, untapped resource and turn a vision for a more drought resilient, liveable city into a reality.

South Australia 2016 Excellence Awards

At the Stormwater South Australia 2016 Excellence Awards on 6 July 2016 the Rural City of Murray Bridge received the award for “Excellence in Infrastructure” for our Stormwater Management & Reuse Scheme Project.

The Excellence Awards are to encourage, recognise, promote and celebrate excellence in the innovation, development, completion and management of stormwater projects and the people involved.

The “Excellence in Infrastructure” category recognises excellence in stormwater infrastructure projects that have been delivered and are now operational. This award category was highly contested with a number of high quality nominations.

Our Project will now represent South Australia as a finalist at the National Stormwater Awards to be held in association with their National Conference in Surfers Paradise in August/September 2016.

Scheme Infrastructure Packages

The Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme comprises of four main infrastructure packages:

  • A number of harvesting pump stations that capture stormwater from existing Council basins and wetlands, with pipelines to transport this raw stormwater to a new storage lagoon;

  • A 110 megalitre (ML) lined lagoon at Gifford Hill for the long term storage of raw stormwater;

  • A treatment plant that treats the raw stormwater so that it is fit for use in public spaces; and

  • Distribution pumps and pipelines to transport the treated stormwater to Council’s irrigation system and third party water users.

  • Over the page is a project sign which provides a general overview of the Scheme and how it works, described in greater detail in this section.



The Harvesting Sites

Based on average rainfall in Murray Bridge, the total harvestable volume from the Scheme’s eight harvesting sites is expected to be 300 ML annually. Accounting for evaporation losses and the irrigation demand schedule of the Scheme’s water users (ie. higher demands for treated water in summer than in winter), 230 ML annually is expected to be made available for irrigation.

In delivering the design, the project team sought to integrate the Scheme’s harvesting infrastructure with the form and function of the existing basins and wetlands. One such example is the Rural Avenue Wetland site which improves water quality, significantly enhances the reserve’s amenity and biodiversity and is a popular recreational area. The new wetland off‐take and submersible pump station was designed to retain the way the wetland functions while reducing the frequency with which flood flows are disposed of via the site’s existing bore.

Rural Avenue Wetland harvesting site

Two of the eight new harvesting pump stations are powered exclusively by solar energy, and green energy is purchased by Council to operate the other infrastructure sites.

The Storage Lagoon

Key to the project was the Gifford Hill Lagoon, which stores the raw, harvested stormwater. The lagoon enclosure is a Council drainage easement situated on land made available by the Murray Bridge Racing Club. The lagoon has a storage capacity of 110 ML, and is lined with High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) to prevent loss of water from infiltration.

Gifford Hill Lagoon

The Treatment Plant

When there is an irrigation demand in the City, raw stormwater is pumped from the storage lagoon to the Old Swanport Road Treatment Plant via a new pipeline installed by Horizontal Direction Drilling under the South Eastern Freeway. The raw stormwater passes through a mechanical treatment system at a rate of up to 70 litres per second. The treatment system is a multi‐stage process that has been designed to ensure that the water is suitable for irrigation of public open spaces.

Old Swanport Road Treatment Plant and Tank (left) and UV Disinfection Unit (right)

The Distribution and Control System

Future expansion of the Scheme including additional harvesting sites and potential increases inirrigation demand was considered in determining the sizing of the Scheme’s 14km of pipelines.

Pipelaying between Gifford Hill Lagoon and Old Swanport Road Treatment Plant

The central Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system enables all harvesting sites to pump simultaneously to the Gifford Hill Lagoon at pre‐determined flowrates to maximise the harvestable volume generated by small and frequent rainfall events. In anticipation of, and during, large rainfall events, Council staff can remotely monitor the water levels in the basins and adjust pump rates and sequencing to manage flood risk in real time.

Official Opening

Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston officially opens the Scheme on 2 June 2016, with (from left) Rural City of Murray Bridge CEO Michael Sedgman; Gifford Hill Joint Venture’s Kym Burke; Murray Bridge Racing Club Chairman Reg Nolan; and Mayor Brenton Lewis

Community Updates

Monthly Update #1 - May 2014

Monthly Update #2 - June 2014

Monthly Update #3 - July 2014

Monthly Update #4 - August 2014

Monthly Update #5 - September/October 2014

Monthly Update #6 - November/December 2014

Monthly Update #7 - January 2015

Monthly Update #8 - February 2015

Monthly Update #9 - March 2015

Monthly Update #10 - April 2015

Monthly Update #11 - June/July 2015

Monthly Update #12 - September 2015

Monthly Update #13 - October 2015

Monthly Update #14 - January 2016

Monthly Update #15 - March 2016

Document Library

Stormwater South Australia 2016 Excellence Awards – Category “Excellence in Infrastructure” Nomination

Prudential Report for: Rural City of Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme

Media Releases/ Related Articles

Please see below a link to an article in the June 2016 (Volume 32, Number 06) on Council’s Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme.


Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme

Scheme Overview

The Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme was built to provide an alternative, secure and sustainable source of water supply to the Rural City of Murray Bridge.

The Scheme harvests stormwater from eight basins and wetlands across Murray Bridge and transports it to a lined lagoon at Gifford Hill for long‐term storage. When needed for irrigation, raw stormwater is pumped from the lagoon to the new treatment plant on Old Swanport Road, from which the treated stormwater is transported via distribution pumps and pipelines to the City’s irrigation system.

The Scheme was delivered by the Rural City of Murray Bridge, in partnership with the Australian Government, the Murray Bridge Racing Club and the Gifford Hill Joint Venture. The total budget of $14.23 million was supported through $7.115 million of funding from the Australian Government’s National Urban Water and Desalination Plan, to match the co‐contribution from Council and in‐kind works from the Gifford Hill Joint Venture. The Scheme was completed on time and within budget, and with an impeccable safety record.

The Australian Government funding agreement required the Scheme to decrease reliance on the River Murray and reduce potable water demand by up to 172 ML annually. Through careful planning, design and management the yield from the Scheme is expected to be approximately 230 ML annually, based on average rainfall in Murray Bridge. Of this 230ML, the irrigation demand supplied is expected to comprise 110 ML of water use by Council and 60 ML of water use from each of the Murray Bridge Racing Club and Murray Bridge Golf Club.

The Scheme has also made provision for the connection of future pump stations at the Newbridge (Old Racecourse) and Gifford Hill development sites. Once these pump stations are installed and the developments are completed, the total harvestable volume for the Scheme may exceed 700 ML annually.

The Scheme generates a net benefit to water quality in the River Murray near Murray Bridge by reducing pollutant loads discharged into the river, and also through the inclusion of water quality improvement measures such as vegetated swales and wetlands at the harvesting sites.

The Scheme has improved the drainage performance and level of flood protection provided by

Council’s stormwater drainage system, notably through the provision of new pump stations and a control system that enables Council to remotely monitor the water levels at the basin and wetland sites and adjust pump rates and sequencing to manage flood risk in real time.

The Scheme uses green energy to reduce Council’s carbon footprint, including two solar powered pump stations, and enables Council to achieve improved amenity at public reserves and a higher standard of playing surfaces at sporting fields. Over 6,000 seedlings and advanced trees were planted in and around the project sites, along with 7,000 metres of direct seeding to establish new trees and shrubs.

The Scheme has provided opportunities for renewal and improvement of Council’s existing stormwater assets, and has provided the strategic stormwater infrastructure that is necessary to support the planned growth of the city over the next 20 years. The Scheme has also been

“future‐proofed” to enable expansion across Murray Bridge and the surrounding region, and to facilitate a future regional water diversification scheme that links Murray Bridge to the District

Council of Mount Barker to provide a secure, sustainable and diverse water supply for this Growth Corridor and further reduce dependence on the River Murray.

Due to the current very dry conditions across the Murray‐Darling Basin, it was recently announced that the minimum opening allocations for extraction from the River Murray in 2016/17 shall be reduced to 36%. Similar water restrictions during the drought years of 2006 through to 2010, when Council’s water allocation dropped as low as 18% in 2008/09, resulted in significant “browning off” and degradation of Council’s reserves and sporting fields. Fortunately the Scheme is now fully operational, and with the lagoon already at 15% capacity at the start of the winter harvesting season, Council are in a strong position to prevent a repeat of the devastating impacts of the drought and to sustain the amenity of the City’s parks and reserves.

The project will benefit the Murray Bridge community and the health of the River Murray for generations to come. It is a fine example of how a community can work together to harness a valuable, untapped resource and turn a vision for a more drought resilient, liveable city into a reality.

South Australia 2016 Excellence Awards

At the Stormwater South Australia 2016 Excellence Awards on 6 July 2016 the Rural City of Murray Bridge received the award for “Excellence in Infrastructure” for our Stormwater Management & Reuse Scheme Project.

The Excellence Awards are to encourage, recognise, promote and celebrate excellence in the innovation, development, completion and management of stormwater projects and the people involved.

The “Excellence in Infrastructure” category recognises excellence in stormwater infrastructure projects that have been delivered and are now operational. This award category was highly contested with a number of high quality nominations.

Our Project will now represent South Australia as a finalist at the National Stormwater Awards to be held in association with their National Conference in Surfers Paradise in August/September 2016.

Scheme Infrastructure Packages

The Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme comprises of four main infrastructure packages:

  • A number of harvesting pump stations that capture stormwater from existing Council basins and wetlands, with pipelines to transport this raw stormwater to a new storage lagoon;

  • A 110 megalitre (ML) lined lagoon at Gifford Hill for the long term storage of raw stormwater;

  • A treatment plant that treats the raw stormwater so that it is fit for use in public spaces; and

  • Distribution pumps and pipelines to transport the treated stormwater to Council’s irrigation system and third party water users.

  • Over the page is a project sign which provides a general overview of the Scheme and how it works, described in greater detail in this section.



The Harvesting Sites

Based on average rainfall in Murray Bridge, the total harvestable volume from the Scheme’s eight harvesting sites is expected to be 300 ML annually. Accounting for evaporation losses and the irrigation demand schedule of the Scheme’s water users (ie. higher demands for treated water in summer than in winter), 230 ML annually is expected to be made available for irrigation.

In delivering the design, the project team sought to integrate the Scheme’s harvesting infrastructure with the form and function of the existing basins and wetlands. One such example is the Rural Avenue Wetland site which improves water quality, significantly enhances the reserve’s amenity and biodiversity and is a popular recreational area. The new wetland off‐take and submersible pump station was designed to retain the way the wetland functions while reducing the frequency with which flood flows are disposed of via the site’s existing bore.

Rural Avenue Wetland harvesting site

Two of the eight new harvesting pump stations are powered exclusively by solar energy, and green energy is purchased by Council to operate the other infrastructure sites.

The Storage Lagoon

Key to the project was the Gifford Hill Lagoon, which stores the raw, harvested stormwater. The lagoon enclosure is a Council drainage easement situated on land made available by the Murray Bridge Racing Club. The lagoon has a storage capacity of 110 ML, and is lined with High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) to prevent loss of water from infiltration.

Gifford Hill Lagoon

The Treatment Plant

When there is an irrigation demand in the City, raw stormwater is pumped from the storage lagoon to the Old Swanport Road Treatment Plant via a new pipeline installed by Horizontal Direction Drilling under the South Eastern Freeway. The raw stormwater passes through a mechanical treatment system at a rate of up to 70 litres per second. The treatment system is a multi‐stage process that has been designed to ensure that the water is suitable for irrigation of public open spaces.

Old Swanport Road Treatment Plant and Tank (left) and UV Disinfection Unit (right)

The Distribution and Control System

Future expansion of the Scheme including additional harvesting sites and potential increases inirrigation demand was considered in determining the sizing of the Scheme’s 14km of pipelines.

Pipelaying between Gifford Hill Lagoon and Old Swanport Road Treatment Plant

The central Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system enables all harvesting sites to pump simultaneously to the Gifford Hill Lagoon at pre‐determined flowrates to maximise the harvestable volume generated by small and frequent rainfall events. In anticipation of, and during, large rainfall events, Council staff can remotely monitor the water levels in the basins and adjust pump rates and sequencing to manage flood risk in real time.

Official Opening

Senator the Hon. Anne Ruston officially opens the Scheme on 2 June 2016, with (from left) Rural City of Murray Bridge CEO Michael Sedgman; Gifford Hill Joint Venture’s Kym Burke; Murray Bridge Racing Club Chairman Reg Nolan; and Mayor Brenton Lewis

Community Updates

Monthly Update #1 - May 2014

Monthly Update #2 - June 2014

Monthly Update #3 - July 2014

Monthly Update #4 - August 2014

Monthly Update #5 - September/October 2014

Monthly Update #6 - November/December 2014

Monthly Update #7 - January 2015

Monthly Update #8 - February 2015

Monthly Update #9 - March 2015

Monthly Update #10 - April 2015

Monthly Update #11 - June/July 2015

Monthly Update #12 - September 2015

Monthly Update #13 - October 2015

Monthly Update #14 - January 2016

Monthly Update #15 - March 2016

Document Library

Stormwater South Australia 2016 Excellence Awards – Category “Excellence in Infrastructure” Nomination

Prudential Report for: Rural City of Murray Bridge Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme

Media Releases/ Related Articles

Please see below a link to an article in the June 2016 (Volume 32, Number 06) on Council’s Stormwater Management and Reuse Scheme.