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History

Environmental issues pertaining to the disposal of spent spa water from Moree’s artesian spa industry into the Mehi River were raised by the New South Wales Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The discharging of this water into the Mehi River was deemed to be an environmental concern due to above acceptable salt and temperature levels being added to the river and that an alternative disposal option should be adopted.

Moree Plains Shire Council (Council) proposed construction of water storage ponds at the Evergreen Precinct for the storage and evaporation of spent spa water generated by the Moree artesian spa industry.

It was proposed that the water storage ponds should be constructed and operated so as to facilitate the beneficial reuse of the water for water-based recreational and sports activities.

Council in collaboration with the Moree Water Ski Club worked with the EPA to further develop the proposed project to manage potential environmental impacts.

An Environmental Impact Statement was developed to satisfy environmental concerns, which was completed in February 2013.

In April 2013, a Development Application was lodged with Council. However, as the proposed project was a Council activity, the Development Application was assessed by an independent consultant. A Development Consent which was granted by Council on 12 December 2013.

Following issue of the Development Consent, the detailed design phase was commenced to finalise the design and construction requirements for the project. In September 2014, a tender was issued for the construction of the project and Council appointed local contractor Wilde Civil Pty Ltd to construct the project.

Construction of the project commenced in November 2014.

The concept of diverting spent spa water from the Mehi River to ponds specifically developed for the reuse of the water demonstrates Council’s wider commitment to provide improved health, wellbeing and environmental outcomes for regional sustainability.

Design

The Moree Water Ski Lakes consists of five water bodies being multi stage maturation and flushing pond, two water ski lakes, a recreational circuit lake and an evaporation pond.

The two water ski lakes will be 800 metres long and built in compliance with International and Australian water skiing standards. The third lake will be 1.2 kilometres long, over 200 metres wide and designed as a circuit lake for a wide range of water sports.

The family friendly facility will be designed to cater for an array of water based activities such as water skiing, rowing, dragon boat racing, jet skiing, wakeboard, canoeing and kayaking. There will also be a range of proposed shore-based facilities such as vehicle and vehicle/trailer parking areas, amenities, clubhouse, viewing areas and landscaping.

The lakes will be filled primarily by spent artesian spa water discharged from the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre (MAAC) and the artesian spa precinct made possible by the construction of a seven kilometre pipeline stretching from the MAAC to the Evergreen Precinct.

The spent spa water pipeline from the Moree artesian spa precinct to the Evergreen Precinct will allow other artesian spa operators in Moree to dispose of spent spa water generated by their operations in the water ski lakes.

The lakes will be constructed to prevent water seepage into the groundwater or surface waters. This meant a high level of design detail and well defined standards for soil assessment and lake construction were necessary.

 

Location

The Evergreen Precinct is located approximately 8km south of Moree New South Wales, an area of land purchased by Council to provide opportunities for environmentally sustainable activities. The Precinct is adjacent to Evergreen Road and Barton Plains Road.

After an intensive search, the Evergreen Precinct was selected on the basis that it is one of the few flood free areas with suitable soils and underlying geology with no direct connection to ground water, essential requirements for the approved or proposed activities for the Precinct.

Figure 1 illustrates the location of the Evergreen Precinct in relation to Moree. The Moree Waste Management Facility is located on Lot 1.
Evergreen Precinct

The project will support local community initiatives, maintain artesian spa industry employment, bring investment to the area and leave a long-term positive legacy in Moree Plains.
KEY POINTS

What is it?

  • The Moree Plains Shire Council has collaborated with the Moree Water Ski Club to develop a water ski park consisting of five water storage ponds constructed to dispose of spent spa water from the Moree artesian spa industry.
  • The Moree Water Ski Lakes will be located 8kms south of the town in the Evergreen Precinct, an area of land purchased by Council to provide opportunities for environmentally sustainable activities.
  • After an intensive search, the Moree site was selected on the basis that it is one of the few flood free areas with suitable soils and underlying geology with no direct connection to ground water, essential requirements for the approved or proposed activities for the Precinct.

How is it unique?

  • The Moree Water Ski Lakes consists of two water ski lakes 800 metres long and built in compliance with International and Australian water skiing standards. The third lake will be 1.2 kilometres long, over 200 metres wide and designed as a circuit lake for a wide range of water sports.
  • The family friendly facility will be designed to cater for an array of water based activities such as water skiing, rowing, dragon boat racing, jet skiing, wakeboard, canoeing and kayaking. There will also be a range of proposed shore-based facilities such as vehicle and vehicle/trailer parking areas, amenities, clubhouse, viewing areas and landscaping.
  • The lakes will be filled primarily by spent artesian spa water discharged from the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre (MAAC) and the artesian spa precinct made possible by the construction of a seven kilometre pipeline stretching from the MAAC to the Evergreen Precinct.

What are the benefits?

Specific benefits to the local area include:

  • Creation of local construction jobs – Wilde Civil Pty Ltd will be the lead contractor for the development with subcontracting work to flow through to local contractors.
  • The delivery of additional indirect economic opportunities, such as using local food outlets, accommodation and petrol stations etc.
  • Increased tourism as a result of the provision of quality sport and recreational facilities.
  • Negate the potential requirement to upgrade the Moree STP in order to handle such significant volumes of water.
  • Improves the valuation of environmental resources at the Evergreen Precinct

Environment benefits

  • Provides improved environmental outcomes by diverting spent spa water from the Mehi River to ponds developed to provide reuse of the water.
  • Improves the conservation of biological diversity ecological integrity of the Evergreen Precinct

LakesProject map

For more information

For more information about the Moree Water Ski Lakes, please contact Council’s Executive Department on 02 6757 3222.

 

 

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