Shire water project claims top Tidy Towns award

STAWELL - Northern Grampians Shire Council has claimed a top accolade for its Stawell Stormwater Alternative Natural Solutions (SWANS) project at Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria's 2012 Tidy Towns - Sustainable Communities Awards.

Acting Director of Infrastructure and Environment, Sanjay Manivasagasivam said council was thrilled to accept the Water Efficiency category award at a ceremony in Mornington.

"A couple of weeks ago we were presented with a certificate for being a finalist, so it was fantastic to cap that off by being named as the winner of our category," he said.

"The SWANS project is a first for the Northern Grampians Shire and was selected from more than 150 initiatives from right across the state. It came about through the innovation of our engineering department and has demonstrated how stormwater can be used to drought-proof community assets such as sports fields and streetscapes."

Partially funded through the Northern Grampians Shire Council and the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative through the Strengthening Basin Communities program, the SWANS project involved the construction of a series of water quality treatment ponds, storage dams and transfer infrastructure across the Stawell township.

Mr Manivasagasivam said the project captured 130 megalitres of urban stormwater for re-use and environmental flows each year and had also helped to address local flooding issues.

"The stormwater that's collected is used to irrigate sporting facilities, gardens and public open spaces throughout the town, resulting in potable water savings of more than 74 megalitres each year," he said.

"This project is something that council is very proud of and to receive outside recognition is a huge honour."

A total of 14 awards were presented at the Keep Australia Beautiful Victoria's 2012 Tidy Towns - Sustainable Communities Awards, which celebrated its 30th year.

Wycheproof was named the 2012 Tidy Town of the Year, ahead of more than 50 other communities.

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