With no end to water restrictions in sight, many of Melbourne’s sporting grounds run the risk of falling into a dry condition that is no longer playable.
Such was the case for the Bayswater Marie Wallace Oval, a local sporting ground several kilometres down the road from the Siemens Australia-Pacific head office, that is affectionately dubbed ‘the MCG of the outer-east’. The Marie Wallace Oval is home to the Eastern Football League Grand Final, and can attract up to 10,000 spectators. However, with ongoing water restrictions there was not enough water to properly irrigate the ground, and maintain optimal playing conditions.
Siemens embarked on a project to supply the Bayswater Oval with recycled water for irrigation at the site. In order to realise the project, Siemens formed a unique partnership with Local, State and Federal Government, as well as South East Water and ‘us’ Utility Services. Stormwater that would otherwise go to waste is now harvested at the Siemens Bayswater site, where it is filtered and treated using Siemens technology, and pumped several kilometres down the road to the Bayswater Oval. The water is eventually stored at the oval for use in irrigating its surface.
Not only has this initiative helped to guarantee the future of such an important community resource, it has also resulted in an annual saving of 19 megalitres (ML) of water – the equivalent of seven Olympic sized swimming pools. At the same time, Siemens has been able to gain exposure for its innovative water solutions in several media channels, including the Channel Seven News.
Knox Council, local sporting clubs and the Committee for Bayswater identified a need for maintaining the usability of the Bayswater Oval throughout the summer months for local sport activities.
Ongoing drought conditions had brought on water restrictions, which limited the amount of freshwater that could be used for irrigating the oval. As it stood, the Bayswater Oval was using 150-200 kilolitres (kL) of freshwater per week for irrigation during the summer months, which would amount to a total usage of 1.8- 2.4 ML between December and March alone.
Siemens responded with an innovative and collaborative project that involved stormwater harvested at its own site in Bayswater being pumped down the road to the Bayswater Oval, where it could be used to irrigate the field. The technology required to pump, filter, treat and store the water at the Bayswater Oval was donated by Siemens.
At Siemens, we recognise four global megatrends that are forcing us to change the way we live: climate change, demographic change, urbanisation and globalisation. These megatrends are the framework behind our entire business, and Siemens has structured its portfolio into eight areas that provide solutions to these four megatrends.
These eight areas are also in line with research undertaken by Committee for Economic Development Australia to determine the most pressing issues facing Australia. The eight areas are water, energy, environment, healthcare, productivity, mobility, safety and security.
As such, Siemens is aware that water is one of the most prominent areas of concern in the community, and a significant market area throughout Australia.
Siemens’ involvement in the Bayswater Oval Stormwater Harvesting Project was an opportunity to garner awareness of its water-saving technologies, which have been shown by our research to address a major area of concern in the community.
In the Bayswater Oval Stormwater Harvesting Project, Siemens also hoped to provide a blueprint of a water- saving project that could easily be implemented by other communities in order to relieve the strain on our depleting water resources.
Siemens divided its communications target markets into six main groups. These were:
• Customers: existing water technology customers; key water technology stakeholders; potential water technology customers; all Siemens existing customers; and potential customers across all sectors
• Media: targeted local media like Knox Leader and Knox Journal; peak body/industry associations’ publications and websites; and local radio
• Community and government stakeholders involved in the project , such as Knox City Council
• Business partners such as South East Water and ‘us’ Utility Services
• Industry bodies such as Australian Water Association
• Siemens employees
The strategy underpinning the Bayswater Oval Stormwater Harvesting Project was three-fold:
- To demonstrate to target markets and the community that Siemens is an environmentally conscious company and a sustainable corporate entity
- To enhance relationships with government and industry stakeholders, as well as new and existing customers
- To showcase Siemens’ world-leading water technology to these stakeholders, as well as the public in general
Prior to the stormwater harvesting project’s official opening Siemens invited media and sent out a media release.
Siemens also commissioned the production of a two-minute video about the project, which was played at the launch. The video continues to be played in the Siemens Innovation Forum, an interactive experience offered at the Bayswater site that introduces customers, community members, and new employees to Siemens. The video also featured on the Siemens YouTube channel.
In order to communicate with our six main target market groups Siemens sought to leverage several communications platforms:
• Siemens organised an opening launch on 5 February, which included Government, industry bodies, business, media, and even a local primary school group. There were 92 attendees on the day
• Siemens signage was attached to the storage tank, and was erected at the oval itself, which can attract up to 10,000 spectators from all around eastern Victoria
• An internet page dedicated to the project was established, and between 5 February and 20 May it received 145 hits
• A media release was sent out as well as an invitation to the launch. The story was eventually covered in local newspapers Knox Journal and Knox Leader, Engineers Australia Magazine, and South East Water’s customer and industry magazine. Most impressively, however, the project was also covered on the Channel Seven News that night.
In terms of the project itself, this involved:
• The construction of an underground catchment and storage area complete with pumps and UV filters
• The installation of a pipeline along which water can be pumped between the Siemens site and the Bayswater Oval
• The installation of a storage tank at the oval, connected to the existing irrigation system
Stormwater from across the Siemens site is collected through a silt pit and oil separator before entering underground storage chambers. The water is then filtered, treated and pumped along a pipeline that stretches 1.3 kilometers along Dandenong Creek, at which point the water is stored in a 1.5 ML tank near the oval. Irrigation use is integrated with the sprinkler system and controlled via telemetry to shut down during periods of rain.
The stormwater supply can be monitored via a remote smart monitoring system, so anyone with an internet connection can see exactly how much water is being saved.
Since completing the stormwater harvesting project, the Knox Council saves 19 megalitres of water a year.
The Bayswater Oval Stormwater Harvesting Project was officially launched on 5th February 2010, and the multitude of partners involved in the project ensured a diverse list of attendees. This included local, state and federal MPs, “C-level” business representatives, and a group of local school children, who demonstrated a game of cricket on the Oval.
The project was featured in local media Knox Journal and Knox Leader, as well as Channel Seven News. Channel Seven attended the launch event and interviewed VIP guests about the project and its contribution to local community. This story was broadcast on the 6.00pm news that evening. The project has also received ongoing coverage in the Engineers Media publication.
The Bayswater Oval Stormwater Harvesting Project was a win-win initiative for all parties involved. On the one hand, the donation of Siemens water technologies ensured that the Bayswater Oval could remain an important community resource. On the other hand, the project also demonstrated the benefits of Siemens waters technologies, and allowed Siemens to receive valuable publicity.
The project involved a unique partnership between community groups, sports clubs, local government and private enterprise, where all efforts were combined towards a common goal. This also allowed Siemens to leverage useful relationships with local government, business partners, and the community.
The project is a milestone project that could easily set the ball rolling for similar projects to be implemented throughout drought-stricken Victoria.