In March 2009, Southbank Towers piloted South East Water’s Fire Sprinkler Program. The good news is, the tower has reduced its fire sprinkler testing water consumption from approximately 2 million litres per year to just 12,000 litres – a 99% water reduction!
Through the Fire Sprinkler Program, South East Water partnered with MICM and Southbank Towers Owners Corporation to achieve the best water efficiency possible at Southbank Towers. Southbank Towers Owners Corporation’s financial contribution and participation made these significant water savings an achievable reality.
The 99 per cent reduction in weekly fire sprinkler system testing water was achieved by reviewing current testing practices and identifying and providing water saving solutions. The solutions implemented at Southbank Towers included the installation of new pressure reducing valves and adjustments to existing pressure relief valves to reduce the volume of water discharged. Two 1,000 litre tanks were also installed to capture and continuously recirculate test water. All these initiatives have enabled Southbank Towers to make a significant contribution to the preservation of Melbourne’s finite drinking water resources.
Furthermore, South East Water also fitted a Magflow meter to record the actual water used during tests at Southbank Towers. The meter was fitted with ‘HydroShare’, a real-time web based data logging system which also enables the monitoring of water remotely to detect any leaks.
To complete the solution, South East Water made pipe work alterations to collect the fire sprinkler system’s annual test water and transported the water through its Tankering Service, for reuse in local inner city Melbourne parks and sporting facilities.
South East Water Managing Director, Shaun Cox, explains; “South East Water’s Fire Sprinkler Program was pioneered to conserve water by working with customers to reduce the amount of drinking water used during testing and to find viable alternatives for reusing the water.
For what is a relatively simple process of identifying areas of improvement and offering sustainable solutions, the program produces substantial environmental benefits. Southbank Towers is the perfect example of how this program can make a real difference to reduce Melbourne’s precious drinking water storages”.
For more information, view the official case study prepared by South East Water.