Victoria’s largest underground water recycling facility is located in Yarra Park, directly outside the MCG.The water plant, funded by the MCC ($18 million) and Victorian Government ($6 million), treats sewage from the local sewerage network to Class A recycled water standards.
Construction commenced on the 25x31 metre site in May, 2011 and was completed in October 2012, following a comprehensive testing regime to ensure the water quality meets EPA guidelines.
More than 180 million litres of recycled water is produced each year, reducing the MCC’s use of potable water by 50 per cent.
The water is primarily re-used as irrigation in Yarra Park, as well as for cleaning and toilet flushing at the MCG and at nearby Punt Road Oval.
As one of the first of its type in Victoria, the recycling facility has been built underground, out of public view, without taking away from valuable surface land use or park amenity.
In 2012, the water recycling facility was recognised with the Infrastructure Project Innovation Award at the Australian Water Association Awards (Victorian Branch).
For the technically minded, the water recycling process consists of screening and grit removal, biological treatment of the sewage and chemical addition for phosphate removal, filtration via membrane bioreactor and ultra-filtration membrane systems, before finally disinfection via ultraviolet and chlorination.
The vast majority of the development associated with the water recycling facility to Yarra Park is located below ground, and is not visible within the Yarra Park landscape.
The more visible elements are the two elevated stair entry/exit structures at the north and south ends of the water recycling facility.
The water facility assists in providing a sustainable water supply for the future maintenance and upkeep of the park, enabling it to maintain its important role within the collection of inner urban public parks.