The Parkes Recycled Water Scheme was applauded for its sustainable design at the 2019 Local Government NSW Excellence in the Environment Awards on Tuesday. The annual awards recognise outstanding achievements by local government in managing and protecting the environment.
The Recycled Water Scheme earned Parkes Shire Council the award for Sustainable Infrastructure - Division A, as well as the overall trophy for the category.
Cr Neil Westcott said the award recognises Council’s commitment to invest in sustainable infrastructure.
“The Recycled Water Scheme reuses two megalitres of wastewater that would otherwise be lost each day," Cr Westcott said.
"Using reclaimed water for irrigation will not only keep out parks green during drought, it also reduces the overall demand on our water supply, leaving more water in the potable network for domestic use," Cr Westcott added.
Parkes Shire Council's Technical Infrastructure Manager, Julian Fyfe said that the new Scheme's sustainability credentials extend beyond reclaiming water resources; the system boasts solar panel installations and operational scheduling to reduce energy consumption and lower operational costs.
The construction process also embraced sustainable design principals, ensuring construction waste, spoil and PVC pipe offcuts were either repurposed or recycled. Value-added projects were incorporated into the program, including the establishment of a drought-resistant garden along the disturbed pipeline corridor.
Parkes Shire Council also received the Communication, Education and Empowerment Award for Parkes’ ‘Water Story’, an effective communications program that introduced Banjo, a giant frog mascot, to educate the community on broad water issues and important upgrades to the town's water infrastructure.
The awards come only days after Council's dedication to sustainability was acknowledged at the prestigious Green Globes Awards. Parkes Shire Council was a finalist for the Public Sector Leadership Award, amongst a stellar field of nominees that included the Sydney Opera House and Taronga Zoo.
"Parkes Shire Council is honoured to be recognised for demonstrating leadership in sustainability," Cr Westcott said.
"This is the challenge of our times, and Council is tremendously proud to be recognised amongst such a high calibre of projects."