April 5, 2007

Water partnership brings Barwon benefits

Barwon Health will be able to recycle at least 100,000 litres of water each week from its dialysis units and redirect the much needed water to community projects thanks to support from Alcoa and Barwon Water.

Alcoa, working in partnership with Barwon Water, has made a contribution of $15,000 towards Barwon Health’s purchase of eight water tanks.
Six of the tanks are collecting dialysis water at the three renal service sites at the Geelong Hospital, Newcomb and Fyans Street, with two additional water tanks installed at the McKellar Centre for storage. The total cost of the tanks for Barwon Health was approximately $21,000.
Alcoa’s Victorian Environmental Manager Gerard Kennedy said Alcoa’s commitment was part of its overall water strategy to reduce water consumption on site and support water recycle and reduction activities in the Geelong region.
“Alcoa and Barwon Water have been working together recently on identifying opportunities in the local community to recycle or reduce water and are therefore pleased to be partnering Barwon Health on this new water recycling initiative,” Mr Kennedy said.
“Alcoa has reduced its domestic water consumption at its Point Henry and Anglesea sites by 60% since 1990 and we are happy to be assisting Barwon Health in recycling water which will also help benefit the community.”
Barwon Health’s Maintenance Operations Manager Ray Bennett said the original idea for recycling dialysis water came from one of its senior renal physicians who determined that the reject water from reverse osmosis units was concentrated fresh water that can be recycled.
“We will be recovering around 100,000 litres of water in the long-term which we intend to redirect to the gardens at the McKellar Centre and other local community areas as determined by Barwon Health. It’s great that the community will be able to benefit from this water rather than it going down the drain,” Mr Bennett said.
“Barwon Health is very grateful to Alcoa for providing $15,000 towards the purchase of the tanks.”
Barwon Water Acting Chairman John McDonald said Alcoa was demonstrating its commitment to the community by providing funding to help Barwon Health with this innovative water recycling project.
“It’s terrific that water which has helped improve the quality of life of dialysis patients, can be used again to brighten up the lives of McKellar Centre residents and others in the community,” Mr McDonald said.