Billions of litres of water flow down Angus Creek past Blacktown International Sportspark each year.
Most of it ends up in the Pacific Ocean via the Hawkesbury River – but Blacktown Council has devised a better use for it.
The council last week launched a water recycling project, that will capture almost 200 million litres of stormwater per year from the creek to irrigate fields at the sports park.
“The alternative would be to use high quality mains water for irrigation, which is a waste of resources and it also means we can water the fields when restrictions are in force,” mayor Stephen Bali said.
Cr Bali said the project would “drought proof” the sports park and showed the council was committed to environmental responsibility.
The council’s sports committee chair Brad Bunting said it made no sense to irrigate sports fields with drinking water.
“There is also a long term saving of around 10 per cent, compared with using mains water,” he said.
The $6.2 million project was funded with the help of a $2.2 million federal government grant, and $286,000 in state government funds.
It includes two storage tanks and an underground pipe network, which will water all of the high-performance fields at the Rooty Hill complex.
Stormwater will also be pumped to nearby Anne Aquilina, Kareela, Charlie Bali and Nurragingy reserves. The council is exploring the viability of expanding the project to other sites, including Popondetta Reserve.
“I’m glad we’ve been able to secure federal funding to contribute to such an important local water saving project in Rooty Hill,” Chifley MP Ed Husic said.
“Areas like ours deserve support to help put together great projects like this.”
Cr Bali said the project was carbon neutral, with any energy used to collect the water offset by solar panels.
He said it would also improve conditions for Angus Creek by diverting damaging stormwater into the system.
The council said a filtration process including storage ponds and wetlands would ensure any harmful minerals of heavy metals would be removed from the supply.