In an innovative approach to saving the town’s very precious water supply, Mingara Leisure Centre in Wyong has recently installed a Nubian Homespring water purification system to recycle nearby wetland and storm water for backwashing their public pools. The system will increase town water by 15 million litres a year. Mingara Chairman Bernie Randall said he was delighted with the water savings.

The system effectively upgrades biologically unsafe water with high turbidity levels to a pristine quality, so that it meets the quality requirements for public swimming pools and can be used in the weekly backwashing process. (For their 50 meter Swimming Pool, Hydrotherapy Pool and Leisure Pool, Mingara use 180kL per week, a great saving to town drinking supplies).

Commenting, CEO of Nubian John Huggart says: “Mingara have set a wonderful example for town councils, clubs and leisure centres that have large swimming pools. Their foresight demonstrates how scarce town water supplies can be astutely conserved, especially during times of limited supply, such as the acute water restrictions caused by the current drought.”

He continues: “Should their example be followed by public pools throughout Australia, we would see a massive saving of public drinking water.”

The installation, which requires minimal maintenance for the centre manager, was a two stage process. Firstly, the installation of a sand filter, to manage turbidity levels. Secondly, the installation of a suite of four Homespring water purifiers in parallel to process and treat the volumes required for backwashing. A compact and neat installation, it was installed in one day and commissioned in four hours.

The new pool filtration system is the first of its kind in Australia. Water harvested by the Mingara wetlands is pumped from the Wetland Pumping Station via a new 500m water pipe to the Mingara pool complex. There it is pumped to the sand filter and then to the four unit, Nubian Homespring water treatment system for ultra filtration which removes turbidity, dirt particles, viruses and parasites. The final treatment before being stored in a balance tank is an ultraviolet disinfection process as a precaution. The treated water then goes through the existing pool filtration and disinfection systems for use in the backwashing filters and topping up for the 50 metre and hydrotherapy pools.

The Council’s Manager of Waste Water, Ken Grantham said the project had been given a high priority.

“Level 4 water restrictions which came into effect on 1st October 2006 made town water unavailable for swimming pool top-up and backwashing.” He pointed out that their current OASES water treatment program for stormwater recycling has ensured an efficient and permanent water supply which ensures the year-long operation of Mingara’s pools.