Sydney Water releases aquatic centre guidelines

Wednesday, 25 May, 2011

Sydney Water has conducted an audit on aquatic centres around the Sydney region and has found that the centres use around 1000 ML of water each year. Three-quarters of this is discharged to the sewers from water treatment systems and from on-site kitchen, shower and toilet facilities.

The water utlilty officially released the 160-page ‘Best practice guidelines for water management in aquatic leisure centres’, suitable for councils, pool managers and operators. It outlines five key sections for water sustainability - understanding and managing water use, leaks and swimming pool operations, aquatic centre efficiency, alternative water sources and managing wastewater.

“Obviously water is an essential component of aquatic centre operation. Any guidance on water and energy efficiency can only assist the industry. The guidelines are full of research findings like the fact 36% of water is used in pool make-up and backwashing filters and a staggering 22% of water is, on average, lost through leaks,” said Dr Kerry Schott, Managing Director, Sydney Water.

Tips such as implementing water usage KPIs, appointing a water manager, repairing leakages, re-using water for pool make-up or irrigation, using recycled water where possible for irrigation and toilets, and monitoring water use with meters are all said to reduce costs, water and energy involved in running an aquatic centre.

The idea for the guide started in 2006 with the Metropolitan Water Plan and Business Customer Program, both concentrating on reducing water usage, and implementing desalination programs and recycling schemes.

For more information on the guidelines, visit

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