Ambitious water project to save 60 million litres

2 May 2023

It’s home to the Carlton Football Club, local cricket and bowls clubs and a favourite for families, and now Princes Park is set to become home to our city’s next ambitious stormwater harvesting project. 
The Princes Park Stormwater Harvesting Project will see excess stormwater harvested from Moonee Ponds Creek and used to irrigate the green open spaces, significant trees and playing fields at the 38.6 hectare site in Carlton North. 

Not only will it save more than 60 million litres of drinking water each year, but the system will help future-proof the community’s recreational spaces and premier sporting facilities against drought. 

The health of Moonee Ponds Creek will also be improved with pollution, litter and sediment removed along with the excess water. 

The stormwater harvesting system, including storage tanks and treatment system, will be housed underground with a pump station located alongside existing pump infrastructure in Royal Park. 
During a heavy rain event, excess water will be collected and pass through a pollutant trap where litter and large pollution is removed, and then through a chamber to remove coarse sediment. 

Workers standing on a large circular water tank, which is being constructed underground in a large hole.
A similar stormwater tank installed at Lincoln Square.

The treated stormwater will then be transferred to underground storage tanks at McPherson Field in Royal Park. These tanks will be able to hold five million litres of water to make the most of major rainfall events and store water for drier periods. 

The water will be pumped into an underground irrigation tank in Princes Park via a UV disinfection system, removing any pathogens before the water is used to maintain the park’s ovals and gardens. 

Did you know?

We have six stormwater harvesting systems that capture and store 230 million litres of rainwater each year to be used to keep our parks, gardens and trees lush and green. 

Birrarung Marr, Royal Park, Queen Victoria and Alexandra gardens, Fitzroy Gardens, Darling Street, and Lincoln and University squares are all kept green and lush thanks to harvested stormwater.

As our climate changes, intense rainfall, flooding, extreme heat events and drought are becoming more common in Melbourne. This project is part of our Climate and Biodiversity Emergency response and will enable us to adapt to the impacts of climate change and improve water quality and green spaces.  

The $7 million Princes Park Stormwater Harvesting Project is supported by the Victorian Government’s Integrated Water Management Grant Program. 
Design work for the project has begun following community consultation, with construction set to begin later this year and be complete by 2025. 

Measures will be in place to minimise disruption to sporting clubs and park users during this time.

Benefits of the program

  • More than 60 million litres of alternate water will be collected each year for Princes Park, saving precious drinking water. That’s the equivalent of 24 Olympic swimming pools.
  • Litter and up to 20,000 kilograms of sediment and 200 kilograms of nitrogen will be removed from Moonee Ponds Creek each year.
  • Soil moisture will be replenished through more sustainable management of the natural water cycle.
  • We’re helping drought-proof Princes Park by ensuring it can source 80 per cent of its water needs via alternative sources.

To learn more about this project, visit Participate Melbourne.

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