1. Home

Concrete action by business for water savings

Water saving has been on the radar for Armidale concrete and earthworks company Ducats for a number of years but current water restrictions have sped up its conservation efforts and brought remarkable results.

The second-generation business has taken steps including water recycling to reduce its water consumption by 60 to 70% - and much of the remainder is for drinking and domestic cleaning.

Since taking over as Directors of the family business, brothers Tom, Sam and Jack have implemented measures such as retention tanks and desilting practices to reuse water, and more water-efficient equipment.

“Our goal is to ultimately recapture all available water and to achieve 100% reuse of that water,” Tom said.

And that includes reusing the water more than once. As the water is repeatedly reused and its purity progressively declines, the brothers have adopted a sequenced system which directs it to activities that can accommodate lower water quality.

That sequence begins with activities such as concrete production, which demands relatively good water quality, and ends with road works and dust suppression that is required under operating conditions.

“We’ve achieved that reuse by implementing a series of retention tanks and ponds, which also help to remove sediment from the water,” Tom said.

Sam said the company was very conscious of the fact it was ranked 12th on Council’s list of the Armidale region’s highest water users.

“We were determined to move ourselves well down that list and, while we will see other businesses reduce their water use as well, we aim to remain well out of the top 20 once the rains return and the drought is over,” he said.

“Obviously these savings make good business sense for us, significantly reducing our water bills which previously were around $15,000 a quarter. But it’s also now about protecting the supplies for our home town and ensuring there is more water for other people and uses in Armidale.”

When water restrictions were implemented earlier this year and businesses faced the strong prospect of being without water for commercial activities, Ducats investigated options for its own ground water supplies and sunk a bore close to its Miller Street headquarters.

“With that supply in place, we are trying to be as independent as possible from the town water supply. We are getting pretty close to being completely independent,” Sam said.

“The bore and our recycling measures are putting us in a much better position now and will all be there when then next drought inevitably comes. It might be in five, 10 or 20 years’ time, but we will be ahead of the game.”

Ducats’ water saving measures have also included timer systems for sprinklers used to maintain necessary water levels in gravel for its concrete, so water is only applied during the most appropriate times and less is lost to evaporation.

The brothers have also invested in a high pressure agitator cleaner, substantially cutting the amount of water needed for the essential process of removing traces of concrete from their trucks before it sets.

Tom said: “It’s about avoiding a situation in which we have to shut down our operations during a drought but also improving our practices and the financial strength of our business.”

For more information about the water restrictions and tips on water saving, visit the Water Restrictions page on Council’s website.

 

Latest stories

News

Council’s response to Coronavirus
On advice from State and Federal Governments Armidale Regional Council is implementing a number of social distancing policies and temporary public facility closures to ensure the safety of our community and to Council staff.
App gives easier access to Council services
Many Council services and updates are now even easier to access thanks to additions and improvements to the Council online app.
Water restrictions
Armidale is currently on Level 4 water restrictions and Guyra is on Level 5.
Armidale Regional Council CEO Susan Law announces resignation
Armidale Regional Council CEO Susan Law has today tendered her resignation effective from 30 July 2020.
Council celebrates new Regional NSW office announcement
A NSW Government decision to establish a new Department of Regional NSW office in Armidale has been welcomed by Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Susan Law, as another very welcome boost to the region.
Let there be light at Harris Park
The Harris Park Sportsfields are one step closer to being lit up, with preliminary work to supply and erect field lighting now underway on the $350,000 project.
Hydrogeology report indicates no connection between bores and Mother of Ducks
A ground water supply network being constructed in Guyra is guided by a specialist hydrogeologist report which advises there are “no recognised groundwater dependent ecosystems” near the bore sites, Council’s General Manager Businesses, Scot MacDonald, reaffirmed today.
Safety first as Armidale Regional Airport readies for security screening & further enhancement
Air safety for regional passengers flying in and out of Armidale Regional Airport will be improved with funding of $1.8 million from the Federal Government’s Aviation and Maritime Safety and Security Program to install security screening.
Many information sessions for Budget insight
Community members will have plenty of opportunities to find out more about Armidale Regional Council’s Draft 2020/21 Budget and Operational Plan, with Council representatives preparing to hit the road and the internet for an extensive series of information sessions.
World class landfill secures Armidale region’s waste for 50 years
Proposed new charges and harmonisation for Waste Services
Draft 2020/21 Budget and Operational Plan on exhibition from tomorrow
A resilient Budget designed to counter the triple body blows of drought, bushfires and COVID-19 will go on display when Council puts its 2020/21 Budget and Operational Plan on public exhibition from tomorrow Friday 19 June.
Interim Administrator Minute
For the next three months while I am the Interim Administrator of Armidale Regional Council, residents may be assured that I will do my best to independently serve in an honest, open and transparent way, ensuring all voices are heard.
Introduction of annual permits from July 1
Introduction of annual permits for non-desexed cats and dangerous/restricted dogs