Every Drop Counts at Toorak Primary School
In the past few years, Toorak Primary School has been working hard to reduce its mains water use. Here are some things we’ve put in place:
In 2006, we had a big water tank installed under the staff carpark. This tank is attached to a pump which leads to the flushing of our toilets. We’ve had problems with our water tank pump, it has proved difficult to find a reliable one that can withstand lots of work. We sometimes water our oval and vegetable garden with water from our water tank.
GREY WATER – BUBBLER TAPS
The Green Team have set up a system to put buckets under the drinking taps. Every lunchtime, these buckets are emptied onto the garden so that our flowers can continue to bloom and vegetables continue to be nice and juicy!
In 2008, Melbourne Water established a raingarden behind our Grade 5/6 portables. A raingarden looks just like an ordinary garden, but with one major difference – stormwater is directed into it from roofs, roads and pavements. This is a terrific way to help protect our bay, creeks and rivers. Our raingarden is made up of indigenous perennial plants that can tolerate both drought and short periods of flooding. Our raingarden is cared for by both students and parents. The Green Team regularly weed the raingarden and ensure that the water has somewhere to flow. Children also enjoy playing in the raingarden during recess and lunchtimes as it’s a quiet and peaceful place with lots of ‘nature’ to enjoy. Parents help care for the rain garden during parent working bees.
VALUING WATER AS A COMMUNITY
We promote the value of water in our community via our school newsletter, assemby and whole school events. We encourage our students to bring a water bottle to school and not have water fights in the school ground. Some of our curriculum units also focus on learning about water, ecosystems and sustainability.
In 2009, we saved 424,000 glasses of drinking water which is 106KL. We reduced our school’s overall mains water usage by 11%, which is 24% per student.
The quest for water reduction continues!