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RAAF defends the environment at Amberley base

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The Department of Defence is showing the way in environmental sustainability in South-East Queensland with a large-scale rainwater harvesting program at its rapidly expanding Amberley RAAF Base.

Amberley is the largest RAAF base in Australia, with some 3,500 personnel currently working and living on site. A major expansion and redevelopment is in progress which includes new accommodation and common use buildings, offices and training facilities, workshops, vehicle shelters, deployment areas and car parking.

Ecologically sustainable development principles were applied throughout the planning stages of the redevelopment, in keeping with the Defence Environmental Policy. A key part of the Amberley program was the harvesting of rainwater from all roof areas, with storage tanks and pressure pumping to supply water for landscape irrigation and toilet flushing.

Department of Defence required an efficient and clean storage solution. The Rocla ecoRain® rainwater utilisation system was recommended by consulting engineers GHD because of its durability and flexibility, and the design support offered by Rocla's engineers.

The scope of the project is illustrated by the systems already installed by Ed Ahern Plumbing (Gold Coast), which form only the first part of Stage 3 of the works and include a 210kL storage system for a large mess building plus 5 separate 110kL systems for live-in accommodation blocks, with more systems on order.

The ecoRainPlus™ system designs include a water treatment device, a 10kL primary storage tank with provision for pumping equipment, and secondary storage tanks of varying sizes and configurations constructed from large-diameter Rocla® SRC pipes. The ultimate storage volume of the ecoRainPlus™ system is virtually unlimited!

A feature of the systems is the use of a Rocla CDS® Nipper compact gross pollutant trap in place of the usual high-volume filter. CDS® Units use a self-cleaning continuously deflective screen and an advanced design to capture and store gross pollutants, sediment and hydrocarbons.

Rocla is proposing to supply ecoRainPlus™ rainwater utilisation systems for the RAAF Amberley Base project in a range of sizes from 80kL up to 650kL.