A new supply of recycled water from SA Water’s nearby wastewater treatment plant has helped curate a pristine playing surface for the return of AFL at Whyalla’s historic Bennett Oval this weekend.
Sporting a lush green lawn fit for elite football, the oval’s recent redevelopment included an extensive irrigation overhaul which saw it connected to SA Water’s recycled water supply – securing a source of climate-independent water for the upgraded turf.
The fresh grass will be put to the test by some of the AFL’s finest on Saturday during a third round clash of the pre-season Marsh Community Series between Port Adelaide Football Club and the Western Bulldogs.
City of Whyalla Acting Chief Executive Officer Kristen Clark said the sustainable supply of water ensured the surface met AFL standard.
“The oval is looking fantastic and we’ve had a lot of people say they’ve never seen it so green,” Kristen said.
“Saturday’s game will be the first time in more than 20 years that an AFL fixture will be played in Whyalla and it’s a priceless opportunity for the town to watch their heroes up close while taking pride in their city.
“There’s a buzz around town and we love seeing the community benefit from initiatives that enhance our facilities for everyone to enjoy and attract elite sporting teams to our historic Bennett Oval.
“We’re grateful for SA Water’s eagerness to work together and develop a cost-effective, sustainable solution that underpins the long-term viability of maintaining the oval’s surface in our dry climate.”
More than 2,500 metres of PVC piping has been installed below the oval’s surface by the City of Whyalla, with 135 sprinkler heads spaced 15 metres apart to create an even watering coverage.
Recycled water from SA Water’s Whyalla Wastewater Reclamation Plant is distributed to the council’s central pump station, where it is also used to irrigate several other parks and reserves throughout the town.
SA Water General Manager of Customer Delivery Kerry Rowlands said using recycled water provides great economic and environmental value.
“Our treatment plants have evolved into rich sources of climate-independent water which can be used for a range of horticultural applications and irrigation of public open spaces,” Kerry said.
“We operate several schemes across both regional and metropolitan South Australia, and we’re proud to be one of the country’s largest recyclers of water, contributing around 30 billion litres of high-quality recycled water each year.
“Each day, we safely take wastewater away from Whyalla’s residents and businesses, treating around two million litres at our plant before pumping the recycled water to several customers for a new lease of life.
“It’s rewarding when we’re able to work in partnership with our customers to find opportunities that deliver positive outcomes for all of us, unlocking the potential of a sustainable resource and building a better life for our communities.”
Following the completion of the oval’s rejuvenated playing surface, it’s hoped the precinct will also host state and national cricket in the future.
First bounce at Whyalla’s refreshed Bennett Oval between Port Adelaide Football Club and the Western Bulldogs is scheduled for 3:40pm on Saturday 7 March.
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