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Key achievements
  • 600kL of water per year saved
  • Payback period of less than 1 year
  • Saved $6,600 in electricity consumption

At Bold Park Aquatic Centre, we’ve been taking continuous steps to reduce our water consumption. Located in City Beach, the centre services local residents and schools with a lot of daily foot traffic. We identified how simple upgrades can deliver significant water savings through a careful audit.

Bold Park Aquatic outdoor pool
Bold Park Aquatic outdoor pool.

The value of taking action

Showers account for around 43% of the water consumed at Bold Park Aquatic. Simple steps to reduce our consumption also generate savings, creating a double benefit by bringing down water and energy use. Retrofitting showers is one of the easiest and cheapest ways for aquatic centres or facilities with shared amenities to save water, with significant quick returns.

Previous audits at Bold Park Aquatic showed us showers consumed the most water. Shower flow rates were 16 litres per minute, far greater than the recommended WELS 3 star ratings of less than 9 litres per minute. The fittings were replaced with 9 litres per minute shower heads. We attempted to install shower heads with a 6 litres per minute flow rate, but this led to customer complaints. Even so, savings of up to 30% were achieved.

The aquatic centre was upgraded in 2015 and 2016. WELS 3 star rated shower heads were installed again with shower timers. A Waterwise Auditor carried out a water audit in 2021, as part of our annual Waterwise Aquatic Centre endorsement. The audit confirmed that showers still used the most water on site, even after the WELS 3 star upgrades.

Bold Park Aquatic Centre water consumption by category

Bold Park Aquatic Centre water consumption by category

Over the course of a year, showering accounted for around 43% of site consumption, followed by backwashing and pool evaporation (~43%) and irrigation (~7%). Irrigation consumption excluded irrigation of lawns, which used bore water.

How we did it

The auditor measured the shower consumption and placed a monetary value on retrofitting our 3 star WELS fittings. This enabled us to see the return on investment and the importance of making upgrades. The annual return on investment was calculated to be 1084% with a payback period of less than 1 year.

The auditor’s recommendations were followed with flow restrictors installed in 12 shower heads. This reduced the flow rate even further from 9 litres per minute to 6-7.5 litres per minute. Predicted savings are 600kL per annum and $6,600 in electricity consumption due to less water needing to be heated.

Changerooms and shower area at Bold Park Aquatic
Changerooms and shower area at Bold Park Aquatic.

Other water-saving initiatives included optimising our backwashing process. Since the upgrade in 2015/ 2016, we’ve moved away from using open hose pipes to high-pressure washers and a vacuum machine, where required.

We also gave our gardens a waterwise makeover by converting a large section of the southern gardens and verges with native species.

What we’re doing now

We make every effort to improve water efficiency daily. Consistent monitoring is important to ensure we pick up any irregular water use and detect leaks early.

In the near future, we’ll be including a sub-meter on the pool balance tank (which controls the level and supply of water in a pool, so the depth of the pool is always the same). This will provide us with even greater visibility of our consumption patterns.

We display posters around the centre to encourage saving water. Our lifeguards are also proactive in monitoring excessive water use of the poolside showers.

Bold Park Aquatic outdoor pool area
Bold Park Aquatic outdoor pool area.