Water sustainability study – a case for success

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					                                                                                                   Armstrong Creek
                                                                                             Building a sustainable future

Water sustainability study
– a case for success
The Armstrong Creek business case demonstrates            The development of the business case was undertaken
the financial and economic case for sustainable           in three integrated reports:
development. Using a whole-of-development                 1. The analysis of sustainable energy supply
analysis, the report shows that combining a range            and demand options: Sustainable Alternative
of existing sustainable technologies with a strategic        Energy Supply and Demand Options Analysis
development roll-out will provide financial, social          (Sustainability Victoria, February 2009)
and environmental benefits. The business case
                                                          2. The analysis of options for water infrastructure:
illustrates a sustainable future for all Victorians.
                                                             Armstrong Creek Urban Growth Plan: Water
                                                             Infrastructure Review (GHD, May 2009)
Introduction                                              3. The development of the business case:
                                                             Sustainability Envelope for Armstrong Creek, Victoria:
As an agency of the Victorian Government,
                                                             Business Case Development and Planning Issues
Sustainability Victoria is a catalyst for sustainable
                                                             (Dr. R. R. Noakes and Mr. J. Collins, August 2009).
growth and development in Victoria. We bring together
the knowledge and capabilities of people, organisations   Based on outcomes of these reports and the business
and communities to deliver integrated social, economic    case, guidelines (Guidelines for future developments:
and environmental outcomes.                               preparing a sustainability framework plan and business
                                                          case) have been produced to assist you in developing
One major project that is breaking new ground is our
                                                          a sustainability framework plan and business case.
recent study into the creation of a sustainable urban
development at Armstrong Creek, south of Geelong.         This document outlines the findings of the Armstrong
                                                          Creek Urban Growth Plan: Water Infrastructure Review.
Sustainability Victoria has built the business case for
developing a sustainable community that not only
delivers significant environmental and social benefits,
but also achieves capital and operational cost savings.

                                                                                                                 Page 1
The business case for Armstrong Creek                      A sustainable approach to water
The City of Greater Geelong (CoGG) is committed to         delivery and management
urban development that is sustainable, promotes a strong   As a component of the overall business case,
sense of community and provides a great place to live.     Sustainability Victoria engaged GHD (a consultancy firm)
The CoGG developed the Armstrong Creek Urban               to conduct a review of the potential options for water
Growth Plan to address the demands of a growing            infrastructure provision and to determine those most
population and the Victorian Government’s regional         likely to ensure optimal water conservation while meeting
growth strategy for the future.                            the long-term water needs of Armstrong Creek residents.
Located south of the city of Geelong, Armstrong            The review looked at previous investigations and regional
Creek is one of the principal urban growth areas for the   features that would influence the design of the water
Geelong region. The area comprises 2,687 hectares of       infrastructure proposed for the development. The review
land, of which 2,350 hectares is developable.              needed to identify those that were most likely to meet the
                                                           CoGG’s need for a sustainable community and Barwon
When complete, Armstrong Creek will include up
                                                           Water’s (BW) mandate to provide long-term, sustainable
to 22,000 homes in a range of densities, generate
                                                           water resources to their region.
22,000 permanent jobs in the two commercial and
industrial precincts and support a population of           After extensive investigation and analysis, including
around 54,000 people.                                      consultation with major stakeholders, GHD identified
                                                           30 possible water infrastructure options that combined
The CoGG’s vision for Armstrong Creek is of
                                                           drinking water supply, water efficiency measures,
‘a sustainable community that sets new benchmarks
                                                           rainwater tanks, wastewater treatment and recycling,
in best practice urban development with natural and
                                                           stormwater reuse and water sensitive urban design.
cultural features protected and enhanced to create
a distinct “green” urban character.’                       Three options were identified as being most likely
                                                           to meet the objectives (see over).
Fundamental to achieving this will be the integration
of infrastructure options that provide the triple bottom   • No third pipe
line benefits of sound economics and strong social         • Third pipe regional (adopted by BW & CoGG)
outcomes, and that support the environment.                • Third pipe decentralised
Sustainability Victoria, on behalf of the Victorian        All three included connection to the mains water
Government, sponsored the development of a                 drinking supply, connection to the trunk sewer,
business case to assess opportunities to achieve           comprehensive water efficiency measures, voluntary
better environmental outcomes for Armstrong Creek          rainwater tanks and similar water sensitive urban design
while not compromising the economic and social             features. They differed in the way wastewater was
objectives of the CoGG.                                    collected, treated and used to provide recycled water.

Water sustainability study – a case for success                                                               Page 2
                                                                                                                          Armstrong Creek
                                                                                                                  Building a sustainable future

The three options, illustrated below, were:                            • Third pipe decentralised: localised collection of
                                                                         wastewater for treatment at four membrane bioreactor
• No third pipe: a conventional wastewater
                                                                         wastewater treatment plants located within the
  collection and treatment system option utilising the
                                                                         development. A third pipe system would distribute
  centralised regional wastewater treatment plant at
                                                                         the Class A recycled water within the development for
  Black Rock. There was no recycled water return
                                                                         residential, commercial and open space use.
  to Armstrong Creek.
• Third pipe regional: a centralised conventional
  wastewater collection system option at the centralised
  regional wastewater treatment plant at Black Rock and
  return of Class A recycled water to Armstrong Creek.
  This would be distributed for residential, commercial
  and open space use via a third pipe system.

No third pipe                                   Third pipe regional                                 Third pipe decentralised
                                                (adopted by BW & CoGG)

                         Increased load helps                           Increased load helps
                 biological treatment process                   biological treatment process
     Black Rock WRP                                 Black Rock WRP                                     Black Rock WRP

              Recycled water                                Recycled water                                     Recycled water
              (Northern WP)                                 (Northern WP)                                      (Northern WP)

                                                            Regional recycled
                       Exist class C                        water plant            Exist class C                           Exist class C
                        1650 mg/L                                                   1650 mg/L                               1650 mg/L

          Sewer                                         Sewer                                              Sewer
          1800 mg/L                                     1800 mg/L                                          1800 mg/L

                                                                             Signifigant regional                                Signifigant regional
                                                             Class A         recycling expansion                                 recycling expansion
                                                                                    opportunities                                       opportunities
                                                           500 mg/L
                                                                                                                   CREEK                400ML annual
                                                                                                                                      balance storage
                                                                                                              Recycled water
                                                                                                              500 to 600 mg/L
             ARMSTRONG                                      ARMSTRONG                                             WRP
               CREEK                                          CREEK



                                Potable water                                    Potable water
                                   300 mg/L                                         300 mg/L                                          Potable water
                                                                                                                                         300 mg/L

     GEELONG                                       GEELONG                                             GEELONG

Figure 1 Options for water infrastructure

                                                                                                                                              Page 3
Maximising the use of existing                              In addition, the cost of this solution is around 12 per
                                                            cent less than the ‘decentralised’ recycled water option
water infrastructure for a sustainable                      while still delivering optimal recycling water results. It also
water solution                                              avoids the potential problems of odour and noise on the
                                                            site, as well as variable water quality and the need for
Taking into account financial, environmental and            significant land acquisition for local treatment plants.
social factors, the CoGG and BW opted for the
Third pipe regional option for the Armstrong Creek          Although the conventional option would cost 25 per
development. The benefits of this solution are:             cent less than the ‘centralised’ recycling option chosen,
                                                            it would not deliver the desired water sustainability
• Optimal recycling water volumes and quality
                                                            outcomes for the development.
• Flexibility to meet staged development
                                                            Armstrong Creek shows the way for future sustainable
• Opportunities to efficiently expand the supply
                                                            developments in Victoria. Using clean energy and
  of recycled water to the region in the future
                                                            a range of sustainable water options, the business
• Utilisation of available capacity at the Black Rock       case for Armstrong Creek can guide future precinct
  treatment plant and improved efficiency due to            developments in Victoria and beyond.
  higher loads.
A key factor influencing the viability of the options was   For more information
the close proximity of Armstrong Creek to existing
water infrastructure such as the Petavel basin,             To download copies of the reports, fact sheets
Bellarine transfer main and Black Rock trunk sewer          and guidelines, please visit
and wastewater treatment plant. When an urban     
development is proposed at locations further from           For any enquiries, please email
existing infrastructure, the ranking of the options in
cost terms would most likely be quite different.
By choosing this option, recycled water can be
provided to maintain active open spaces at the
development, even during water restrictions, which
will significantly benefit the community.

Water sustainability study – a case for success