McGillivray Oval case study

In 2004, we commenced a 2 year trial using ‘fit-for-purpose’ recycled water from the Subiaco Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) to irrigate local sporting grounds.

Why we acted

The use of recycled water at McGillivray’s sporting grounds has many environmental benefits, including a reduction in the volume of groundwater used for irrigation of the sporting grounds.

McGillivray Oval irrigated by recycled water

Recycled water also contains nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus that are necessary for plant growth. As a result, fertiliser applications can potentially be reduced in areas irrigated with recycled water.

Most importantly, the scheme provides a climate resilient water source for future irrigation of the sporting grounds, ensuring the community can have access to recreational areas.

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How we did it

The Subiaco WWTP is the third largest in the Perth metropolitan area, treating over 22 billion litres of wastewater per year. The large inflow of wastewater provides an opportunity to recycle and substitute the use of valuable drinking water.

Junior footballers play on McGillivray Oval

An agreement with the University of Western Australia (UWA) led to the irrigation of the McGillivray Sporting Complex, situated on Brockway Rd, Mt Claremont. The 27 hectare site includes grassed ovals and hockey fields, as well as clay and lawn tennis courts.

The McGillivray Sporting Complex project is the first large scale green space irrigation scheme in the Perth metropolitan area to use recycled water.  While a majority of our recycled water irrigation schemes are located in regional Western Australia, this initiative remains a significant milestone for water recycling in Perth.


  • 21 hectares of the McGillivray Sporting Complex is suitable for irrigation using recycled water


  • Irrigation runs 6 days a week between October and April 
  • Extends into May in dry years

Minimising risk

  • In accordance with Department of Health conditions, the irrigation system only runs at night between 9pm and 1am to minimise human contact 

What we are doing now

In 2012–13, we used 5.7 billion litres of recycled water to irrigate almost 50 sites across the state, including public open spaces, school ovals and golf courses. Recycled water is a climate-resilient water source for alternative uses, such as irrigation, and will continue to play a key role in our Water Forever strategy

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