The major project award for the 2010 SPLASH! Environmental Awards went to Gosford Olympic Pool.
The project is a renovation of a 1950s public Olympic outdoor swimming pool on the New South Wales Central Coast.
As with many pools of this age, the Gosford Olympic Pool faced the challenge of an aging infrastructure and needed to lessen the impact of the pool operations on the environment while fulfilling the demands of the local community.
By establishing a sophisticated Triton backwash plant which includes a reverse osmosis system and a 170,000 litre water storage system, the water requirements of the swimming pool have been reduced by an enormous 90 per cent. It is estimated that the combined system will save more than 4 million litres of town water each year. This is especially beneficial as Gosford area has suffered from severe water shortages.
Additionally, the renovation reduced the energy requirements for the pool by installing a solar heating system and using high quality pool blankets which enables the pool to shut down the boiler from October through to March each year, while maintaining the pool water at the desired 25-26 degrees. Additionally, a new gas heater with a titanium heat exchanger was added to the system.
They are in the process of adapting the solar system so it can also heat the indoor pool water, resulting in a further 50 per cent reduced requirement for the gas boiler.
The judges were impressed that this type of renovation could be applied to existing pools of a similar age – of which there are a great number across Australia. Therefore, this project could have a very substantial influence on water and energy use in the aquatics industry.