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Case Study: Birrigai Outdoor School, ACT

Supplier: Aquacell
13 April, 2011

Re-building a school with the help of Aquacell.

After devastating Canberra bushfires all but destroyed Birrigai Outdoor School, a mission to rebuild was developed. Architects, Collard Clarke Jackson, and consultants, Cardno Young, nominated sustainable design principles as a key priority in the reconstruction and Aquacell came on board as providers of an innovative water recycling system.

Located in a pristine area of ACT and home to a variety of wildlife, Birrigai Outdoor School has been a popular venue for schoolchildren to engage in wilderness education. The necessity for an environmentally friendly facility was obvious. Solar panels, thermally efficient and fire-resistant materials, rainwater harvesting, water-saving fixtures and greywater recycling were all incorporated into the new design.

Aquacell's G5 system was chosen to recycle up to 5,000 litres of greywater per day. Water from showers and hand basins is treated in accordance with '4-star water' standards (Australian Water Association ranking method) and reused for toilet flushing and irrigating landscaped areas. This Aquacell technology reduces the school’s reliance on precious groundwater.

Believed to be the first system in NSW or ACT to pass the NSW Health requirements for greywater recycling in a multi-dwelling or commercial property, the Aquacell G5 easily achieved pathogen and virus removal criteria for the Birrigai building application. To verify performance, water samples were taken over a 3-month period prior to reuse.

The system is remotely monitored for continuous operation, and is regularly serviced to ensure public health and environmental safety at all times. The Birrigai Outdoor School is once again providing vital environmental education to ACT children, and can now boast one of the most advanced water recycling systems in the country.