When council was digging a huge hole off Magor Road, no-one knew of the fortune that was lying ahead for the Northern Demons.
But, with the completion of Stage 1 of an innovative water project, the club has uncovered a great opportunity for their future.
The club plans to recycle stormwater from the basin for irrigating its Byrne Park headquarters and, as a first step, unveiled a new tank and irrigation system at the park.
Mim LoBasso, the club’s marketing manager, said if the team didn’t put the water to good use, it would have been wasted.
“The water was originally from a basin that was redirected outside the club. The water would have evaporated if the team didn’t use it,” he said.
The red-and-whites received a grant from the State Government’s Sport and Recreation Department of $326,000, with a club loan of $100,000.
The tank will harvest the stormwater from the basin and is now filled with mains water.
The fully-automated tank will take in about 285,000 litres of water which is distributed through 42 sprinklers around the oval.
“We are saving $25,000 a year in water,” Mr. LoBasso said.
With the tank installation, the club moves on to the beginning of Stage 2. This includes a redesign for the basin, piping and installation of pumps.
“We are waiting for a design from council for the basin. We may have to put in another tank,” he said.
Mr LoBasso said that in the future he would like to see a new grandstand and facilities at the park.
Laurenz Pansini, the volunteer ground overseer, says this was a great project for the club.
“The stormwater harvesting was an opportunity to jump on,” he said.
Mr Pansini said that with the first stage of the project completed, he would like to see the oval’s training and playing areas extended in the future.
“I would like to go full pitch, for the junior players” he said.
Mr Pansini said that he had approached council in discussions about expanding.
The Demons pair thanked the community for helping with the installation of the tank, as well as their donations and time spent to complete the first stage of the project.
In-kind donations by companies and workers including McMahon’s, Pisani concreting and Travis Cook, have so far totalled about $20,000.
Electrical work was performed by club players Andrew Cox and Gaeten Annese.
The season starts in the first weekend of March.