The Port Coogee development has a non-potable water supply scheme which manages the groundwater quality entering the marina and reduces demand for potable (drinking) water. The scheme is only available to residents within the Port Coogee development for the purpose of irrigating landscaped gardens on their own properties on adjacent verges.
The non-potable water supply is not suitable for drinking. The system is shut down during June, July and August for repairs and maintenance.
How the supply scheme works
The non-potable water is sourced from a Groundwater Intercepting Drain (GID) located under Orsino Boulevard. The intercepted water is pumped to a large underground storage tank beneath Lucretia Park. This non-potable water supply is available to residential property owners connected to the scheme and is used to irrigate public open spaces and streetscapes. Any excess water sourced from the GID is reinjected into the aquifer north of the Port Coogee development through reinjection bores.
Benefits of the supply scheme
The scheme enables groundwater that would have otherwise flowed into the ocean, to be used to irrigate public open space, streetscapes and residential properties within the Port Coogee community. The captured groundwater has elevated levels of nutrient because of market garden operations to the east of the Port Coogee development. Capturing and using this water provides a number of environmental benefits including:
- Reducing high levels of nutrient flowing into the marina
- Reduced risk of algal blooms in the marina
- Reduced reliance on scheme water
- Offset fertiliser applications to public open space and streetscapes.
The non-potable water delivered to households through the scheme is untreated groundwater. It is not treated wastewater, and does not pose the same health concerns typically associated with recycled water. The groundwater does contain elevated concentrations of nutrients and other potential contaminants, so it is important that it is only used for approved purposes.
To ensure the continued health and safety of all customers connected to the scheme, the non-potable scheme supply is only to be used for the irrigation of landscapes including lawns and gardens. The non-potable water supply must not be used for:
- Washing clothes
- Water sources for pets
- Filling of rainwater tanks
- Washing vehicles
- Showering or bathing
- Cooking or kitchen use
- Swimming pools or spas.
The City implemented a series of safeguards when the non-potable water supply scheme was first constructed. These safeguards ensured that water quality did not fall below acceptable standards because of potential groundwater contaminants.
The scheme has operated well and the water quality has proven to be safe and stable. Because of this, the City has reduced the level of compliance associated with the scheme. Many of the safeguards are no longer necessary, and the reduced costs enable the City to continue to provide the service free of charge. Water quality continues to be sampled twice a year for a range of criteria to ensure that it remains safe to use.
The supply will be temporarily disconnected in the unlikely event that water is found to be contaminated.
- The supply scheme operates in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licence to take water granted by the Department of Water, and section 5C of the Rights and Water and Irrigation Act 1914
- The system operates from September through to May each year in accordance with the Water Corporation’s winter sprinkler ban period
- The system is shut down during June, July and August for repairs and maintenance
- Connected properties are allowed to irrigate three times per week before 9am or after 6pm on the days designated for that property number, in accordance with the Water Corporation’s current bore roster
- Any amendments to the Water Corporation’s regulations on water restrictions are updated on this webpage. All connected property owners are required to comply
- Property owners will be liable for any fine issued by the Water Corporation for use of the system outside the regulated days of use
- As with all mechanical systems, there is potential for the system to fail. However, a number of safety mechanisms are installed to protect the system’s integrity.
If you would like to connect to the scheme, please submit an application form under 'Related Documents' below, to the City. Once your application has been approved, you will need to enter into a formal Irrigation (Non-Drinking) Water Supply Agreement with the City of Cockburn. The Supply Agreement will outline the Term of Use of the scheme and provides further details on connection standards and usage charges.
Non-potable water supply infrastructure
Every lot in Port Coogee has access to the scheme’s infrastructure just inside the property boundary. To minimise the potential for cross-connection of potable and non-potable water supplies, a separate standpipe and water meter for the irrigation (non-potable) supply will be located on the opposite side of the property to the mains (potable) supply water meter.
Property owners wanting to connect to the system will need their building plans to show non-potable and potable supply infrastructure to ensure future access to the system. Any building or hard landscaping material obstructing the connection will need to be moved before connection. Property owners are responsible for all works and costs.
Connection to the non-potable water supply system will be facilitated by a licensed plumber and comply with Australian Standards AS 3500. The City will install an approved water meter once we have received notice that the building is occupied, and domestic irrigation infrastructure is ready for connection. The property owner is responsible for maintaining the irrigation infrastructure and keeping it in good working order to receive the water supply. Property owners are responsible for informing and providing updates about the non-potable water supply scheme to existing and new tenants.
Install non-potable water infrastructure
Domestic (non-potable) irrigation systems require a suitably qualified irrigation contractor to install automatic controllers, solenoid valves and the irrigation dispersal network. To minimise potential for cross-connection between potable and non-potable supplies, a licensed plumber will need to provide final sign-off on the connection of the irrigation system. You can find a list of endorsed waterwise specialists on the Water Corporation Website.
Identify non-potable water supplies
All non-potable water distribution systems must be readily identifiable and distinguishable from standard potable water supplies. Prominent signage has been installed to clearly identify non-potable supply infrastructure and irrigation dispersal areas.
The internationally recognised colour for identification of non-potable water is lilac/purple. Where possible, householders should ensure that pipework, sprinklers, driplines, valve box lid and controllers are colour-coded and/or clearly identified as a non-potable sources of water.