The Mirror News

Water woes evaporate

• Water wise: Monday was not a day when Foster Golf Club president Greg Cox was too concerned about a lack of water on the course, but he is right behind a project that will protect the fairways in drier times.

TWO of Foster’s premier sporting venues will have access to an affordable water supply next summer.

Foster Recreation Reserve and Foster Golf Club will see treated wastewater channelled to it, courtesy of a two-kilometre pipeline from the Foster Waste Water Treatment Plant. Currently the South Gippsland Water plant discharges the wastewater into Corner Inlet.

“The Foster outfall is within EPA licence requirements. The Corporation does not need to look for an alternate discharge, however, does look for re-use opportunities – such as this project –  that are in line with our sustainable water use focus,” a South Gippsland Water spokesperson said.

The water will be used on the clubs’ playing surfaces. Cultural heritage, flora and fauna and detailed survey works have already been completed for the project, a partnership between South Gippsland Water and South Gippsland Shire Council.

Once constructed, the pipeline will provide potential for the clubs to access about 45ML (megalitres) of water per year – or the equivalent of 22 standard Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“Funded by the South Gippsland Shire Council and in-kind support from South Gippsland Water this project marks a significant partnership between the community, Shire and South Gippsland Water,” South Gippsland Water Managing Director Philippe du Plessis said.

“Not only does it provide beneficial water re-use options, it also provides improved liveability outcomes for the community of Foster and surrounds”.

Tenders on the project have recently closed and are currently being assessed.  It is anticipated that construction works will commence later this year, with the aim that treated wastewater will start flowing for re-use during next summer’s irrigation season.

Foster Golf Club president Greg Cox believes the project will not only be a great one for the town’s sporting clubs, but a great one for the region.

“We’ve got a very good course, and particularly this year the greens have been excellent, but the fairways die off. They’re patchy. To make this a better course we need irrigation out on the fairways, then we can get consistent growth throughout the year,” he said.

“It’s in our peak visitor season in December, through to Easter, we need that repeat business. Do they come back? Some do, but I imagine a lot say, ‘Good course, but the fairways need work.’

“For us it will mean better visitor numbers, which means better income. That flows through to the clubhouse and bar. The more people we’ve got coming to play at the club, the more revenue is being generated for the town too. We’ve got a very good facility, but this can make us that much better.”

Foster Football Club committee member Ian Lyon said the project would be a major win for the club.

“It means that in the summer season when you’re thinking about how you’re going to maintain and prepare the ground, especially after the show and the markets, you’ve suddenly got an unlimited, affordable supply of water,” he said.

“In the summer, you’re thinking about the moisture content in the ground and how much water you should spray. In a damp summer it’s not a big deal, but now we have control no matter what.”

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