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Saving Bendigo's Water

4 November 2009 |Media centre

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s headquarters, The Bendigo Centre, is now relying entirely on recycled water to service all toilets throughout the building, saving almost 4.5 million litres of drinking water each year.

The Bendigo landmark is one of the first Five Star Green Star buildings constructed in regional Australia, with water savings one of the main achievements of the design.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s Chief General Manager of Corporate Resources, Marnie Baker, said many bank staff live in regional areas and understand first-hand the challenges faced by country communities.

“A shortage of water is without doubt one of the biggest challenges facing our region, now and into the future,” Ms Baker said.

“We hope that using recycled water will reduce our impact on local water storages and inspire other local business to look at doing the same.”

The building’s blackwater recycled water treatment plant was fully commissioned in September, with many staff unaware the change had even taken place.

“We have experienced a seamless transition and there isn’t a noticeable difference in the water quality-it looks and smells the same,” Ms Baker said.

The blackwater plant is a unique piece of engineering that treats wastewater from the building’s showers, sinks, basins, dishwashers, toilet pans and urinals.

This water is then collected through a combined piped system that is collected and treated by the plant on the ground floor and pumped around the building to be used again.

It’s estimated more than 17,000 litres of blackwater is collected each day, this includes 9,600 litres in water for toilet flushing and 8,000 litres discharged via taps and showers.

“All of this adds up to major savings and a huge investment by the bank in sustainability,” Ms Baker said.

In addition to the plant, the building also collects rainwater through a 10,000 litre tank on the roof. All of the collected rainwater is used to water plants in the complex.

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