Storm water harvesting – Matraville and Altona

From Sydney to Melbourne, Lafarge Plasterboard have put their actions behind a drive to save water.


400,00 Litre storm water capacity at Lafarge Plasterboard Matraville, Sydney

The “Every Drop Counts” program run by Sydney Water was one of the motivations behind the water savings action plan that was undertaken by the Matraville Plant, according to the Country Environmental Co-ordinator, Alfons Montebello.

“As part of our EPA license we already had a system in place to collect small amounts of storm water,” said Alfons. “We’ve expanded that area to incorporate part of the roof area as well and now we’re actually bringing the storm water into the manufacturing process and using it as a supplement to town-water.

“The process has been reasonably simple as we’re using the existing downpipes and cutting them off where they were going into the storm water drains and re-directing them to our storm water catchment road system. From here the water goes to the silt arrestor pit which was already there but was only being used for our stock-pile dust suppression system.”

Whenever there is rain water in the collection system, the demand of town water required by the process is reduced by 50%. In real terms, the storm water recovery system replaces 90 litres of town water per minute – that’s 115,200 litres every day that it is raining and the production line is running. In the first year alone, we managed to save nearly 10 million litres of drinking water from being taken from Warragamba dam.

Another storm water collection and re-use system is in place at the production plant in Altona, which allows for maximum storage of 200,000 litres of storm water. The stored water is fed into the boardline at a rate of 100% which completely removes the need for town water when storm water is available.