Water - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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USC is the first university to use recycled water in swimming pool

In 2015, USC became the first university in Australia to supplement 'make-up' water for the 50m swimming pool with treated onsite lake water. The treated lake water meets the Australian Standard to Potable Water Classification making it the first project of its kind in the country to be used for this purpose. In 2020, USC extended the use of treated lake water to the 25m pool.

The lake water is part of an integrated catchment system that directs storm water run-off through a system of swales and creeks before being collected for storage in two lakes onsite.

A water treatment plant removes solids and modifies the lake water to produce potable standard water for use as make-up water to the pool and in the cooling towers which are a part of the campus air-conditioning system. The University pool also uses an efficient electronic chlorinator.

Since this project has been implemented, the University has achieved a saving in excess of 20,000 litres of mains water used per day, which also significantly reduces the cost for mains water supply.

Rainwater tanks

The USC Moreton Bay campus captures and reuses rainwater in a 110,000 litre tank. Once the rainwater is harvested, it is recycled through the building for use in toilets and urinals.

Environmentally friendly and non-toxic e-water cleaning solutions are used in the cleaning regime at USC Sunshine Coast to replace the use of commercial cleaning chemicals.

What is eWater?

eWater is produced by applying an electrical charge to a mixture of ordinary tap water and salt.

Known as electrolysis, this process splits the water mixture into positive and negative ions, creating two highly effective and remarkably safe solutions on opposing ends of the pH scale: alkaline for cleaning and acidic for antimicrobial sanitising.

The eWater unit produces two solutions:

  • a sanitiser which has powerful antibacterial and fungicidal properties and is up to 80 times more effective than its chlorine-based competitors;
  • a cleaner which is a highly effective detergent and degreaser. It effortlessly breaks down stubborn oils and biofilms on all types of surfaces – from stainless steel bench tops and kitchen equipment, to hand washing – without the use of hazardous and costly chemicals.

These eWater systems are in use across the Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay campuses.

Stormwater managment

There is a stormwater management system of lakes, swales and settling ponds on campus to protect the Mooloolah River National Park's waterways from high nutrient levels and sediment run-off.

Water monitoring and systems

Asset Management Services conducts regular surveys to locate water leaks on campus and has implemented audit and flow test of all taps and fittings and the installation of water saving devices and efficient isolation points for ongoing plumbing works on campus.

Hot water at the University’s research centre on Fraser Island is provided entirely by solar hot water systems.

Water Refill campus initiative

USC Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay are Water Refill campuses providing a variety of alternative options to purchasing commercial bottled water on campus.