Client RSPCA
Location Burwood, Victoria
Architect NH Architecture

Project Description

The Challenge:

At the RSPCA Burwood, the dog kennels are hosed down every morning as part of the daily cleaning and animal care routine. In working with the RSPCA we saw an opportunity for enhanced water sustainability through recycling and reusing the washdown water.

Our Solution:

The greywater treatment system we designed for the RSPCA is a low-energy, passive system. It comprises a hair filter, three stages of vegetated reedbeds (subsurface wetlands), and a disinfection system. The system treats the kennel washdown water and produces filtered and purified water for hosing down the kennels the next day.

While it is being treated, the water is kept totally beneath the surface in the fully-lined beds to reduce losses from evaporation and away from contact with animals and visitors. Our system is a classic example of our approach to providing a double-use of space. The treatment beds sit within the outdoor garden areas enjoyed by visitors and staff and where dogs are walked. The vegetation flourishes with the nutrient-rich water and the beds require no extra irrigation water.

The Results:

The completed project perfectly exemplifies how we seamlessly combine our engineering experience with our scientific understanding — we have capitalised on the natural fall of the site to provide zero energy transfer between the beds, which reduces the energy utilised in pumping. Our system makes a meaningful contribution to water conservation, significantly reducing the RSPCA’s water bills.

  • Production of filtered and purified water for hosing down kennels
  • Nutrient-rich water provided for vegetation
  • Zero energy transfer between reedbeds = reduced energy used in pumping
  • Up to 6,000L of water saved each day. This is equivalent to an entire Olympic-sized swimming pool of water every year!
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