Water Matters at Croydon West Primary School

Installation of four water tanks in different parts of our school allows us to develop and maintain our many gardens and learnscapes. This has given us the freedom to be able to extensively plant during times of drought. Our tanks provide water for our vegetable and orchard area, Discovery garden, Propagation Program, Sensory garden, Peace garden, Bush Tucker garden and for our chickens. They also show our students and school community our level of commitment to harvesting water for use in our gardens. One of these tanks provides the water for the Staff toilets in one of our buildings.

Previously at our school, drought conditions and water restrictions heavily impacted on our gardens. We were frustrated in our attempts to develop areas and were restricted by lack of water when considering new plantings and projects .The decision to progressively add tanks to our water management program allows us to address issues of keeping our habitats healthy. We were fortunate to have a tank donated through our local Rotary club and via fundraising and grants have added three tanks to our school. It is a reminder to our students that water is precious and the need to consider its use carefully. Students regularly use our tanks responsibly to provide water for our chickens, to water our vegetable garden, orchard and for propagated cuttings and plants in the greenhouse. Our newest tank provides water for our new Discovery garden’s turf hill via a drip system. We can also top up a water play area complete with a small reservoir and pump which the students work by hand. This feature of our Discovery garden is very popular with our students considering children do not often get to play with water in our current times of scarce water.
We have redesigned our school ground environment to best harvest and deal with water issues in our gardens. Water harvested from a school building refills our frog habitat. Rain is collected from water harvested from the roof and enters the pond via a pipe at ground level into a stony river bed. Over flow from this pond is dispersed via a swale which directs water towards our Peace Garden. We have removed asphalt from a central courtyard and transformed it into a Sensory garden and a Discovery Garden. Previous problems of flooding across an impermeable surface have been eliminated while naturally filtering any water reaching our storm water drains.
Surfaces such as gravel and mulched garden beds which absorbed water were included in the design and issues we had encountered before of flooding in times of heavy rain, were eliminated. Students understand the need to clear drains of leaves in order to help with water quality in our storm water and become “Gutter Guardians” when needed.
Other water saving measures includes installation of waterless urinals in our boys’ toilets which has dramatically reduced our water usage. Our school also became part of the SWEP initiative and various water saving measures were put in place to make our water usage more efficient. Student involvement includes containers under taps to collect wasted water and use of individual reusable water bottles instead of running wasteful bubbler taps. A dripper system connected to a tank, waters our new turf hill. Revised cleanup methods in the Art room, use of grey water on plants from washing up water, mulching our gardens and selection of drought resistant native plants have also helped to reduce the amount of water used at our school.
By Croydon West Primary School|2017-11-06T17:58:33+10:00May 12th, 2013|0 Comments