Melbourne Airport


Water Waste And Consumption Management

Water Consumption Management

Objective – To reduce potable water consumption across APAM managed areas.

Melbourne Airport realises the critical importance of water conservation. An indicator of this is that although passenger numbers have increased over the past five years, total water consumption has remained relatively constant. From 2008-2012, APAM has had a 12% reduction in potable water demand per passenger, with a goal of 15% by 2013.

In the 2011-2012 year, APAM achieved a 34% reduction in water usage per passenger. These reductions are due to some of the water conservation measures that have been put in place in the last couple of years, they include:

  • Installation of rainwater harvesting systems in office buildings and in T2E, to improve water efficiency by reducing potable water use.
  • Mandatory inclusion of stormwater collection and reuse for all building designs that are over 400 square metres.
  • Installation of timed flushes at urinals and dual flush systems at viable amenities.
  • Developing a 2012 Water Management Strategy.
  • Installation of rainwater tanks in new developments to improve water efficiency by reducing potable water demand.

The 2013 Environment Strategy has outlined an aspirational target of a further 5% reduction in potable water demand per passenger based on the 2012-2013 figures. This will be achieved by continuing efforts to conserve and efficiently use water; as well as finding alternative water supplies, such as rain water and stormwater to reduce potable water demand.

Water Quality - Stormwater

Objective – Improve stormwater quality to achieve leading-edge standards.

Surface water is an integral part of the natural environment. Maintaining surface water health and ensuring that new and existing developments do not negatively impact surrounding surface water bodies. Melbourne Airport interacts with a number of water systems such as rivers and creeks. Stormwater runoff that is not effectively managed has the ability to damage receiving waterways. Therefore, stormwater management at Melbourne Airport is of high importance; the aim being to integrate stormwater on the site and protect receiving waters that are threatened by stormwater runoff.

Water quality monitoring is undertaken at a number of points where stormwater is discharged from Melbourne Airport (Moonee Ponds Creek, Steele Creek, Steele Creek North and Arundel Creek). This monitoring is in place to identify potential issues and impacts that may arise due to the quality of stormwater discharged. These quality issues may be from a long term build-up of pollutants, inappropriate stormwater treatment, increases in peak flows or velocities and unintended spills or leaks. Melbourne Airport has identified three key areas to prevent, control or reduce the environmental impacts from stormwater runoff. Stormwater quality aims to incorporate infrastructure to improve the quality of water that is discharged water downstream; for example filtration and retention. Stormwater quantity aims to reduce the peak flows and flow velocities from developed areas to minimise impact on downstream flows and potential erosion. Stormwater conservation identifies opportunities to capture stormwater and use it as an alternative water supply. From 2008-2013, Melbourne Airport has made a number of improvements to stormwater quality processes, examples of these include:

Installation of rain gardens (bio-retention systems) to treat stormwater through vegetation and drainage materials.
Installed retarding basins to reduce peak flows at Annandale Road and Sharps Road.
Commenced works to improve outfalls and installed an additional chamber to improve the removal of contaminants.
The environmental strategy from 2013 onwards outlines new developments that aim to improve the quality of stormwater runoff from Melbourne Airport. A major project that is aimed to be completed by 2015 is the Steele Creek North Drainage Project, which aims to harvest non-potable water from Melbourne Airport within the Steele Creek North Catchment area. The project will not only provide an additional water supply but also improve the water discharged from airport land. Ongoing water management measures, such as retention systems, infiltration measures and rainwater harvesting will be incorporated into target areas, to continue to improve water quality in receptor water systems.

Water Quality – Groundwater

Objective – To protect groundwater quality at Melbourne Airport

Melbourne Airport is located above a regional aquifer, although the average depth to groundwater is 20 metres; however can be found at 7.5 metres in some parts of the site. Melbourne Airport is located within the Port Phillip groundwater basin.

The geological units found in the vicinity include the Quaternary age alluvium and colluvium and basalt (Newer Volcanics) and Tertiary age Brighton Group sediments, Older Volcanics and Werribee Foundation. The basement rocks are Silurian age Mudstone and Shale and Devonian age intrusives (Granodiorite).

There are approximately 70 groundwater bores at the airport to monitor groundwater quality and there are no known areas of significant groundwater contamination onsite. In the event of a spill, leak or other potential source of contamination the following steps are taken:

  • Groundwater bores are installed and sampled to investigate the extent of any contamination
  • The results are assessed by a suitably qualified and experienced person
  • Remediation of the contamination is conducted as required.

Melbourne Airport aims to keep in places its measure to prevent, control and reduce environmental impacts to groundwater from potential issues and impacts. Continuing the existing groundwater monitoring program and relevant reporting and ensuring that existing groundwater contamination is within the accepted limits and complies with the relevant Commonwealth and State Government legislation.