Tank will reduce fire risk

Media release issued Friday 4 November 2011

Lorne Community Hospital has a new defence against bushfire with the installation of a 26,000-litre rainwater tank and pressure pump.

The tank, which was partially funded by Barwon Water, has been connected in preparation for the upcoming fire season.

The harvested rainwater will be used to run a sprinkler system to dampen the hospital buildings and the surrounding area in the event of a bushfire threat.

Barwon Water General Manager Customers and Communication Luisa Munoz said although the tank's primary role was a precaution against fires, the water would also be used for routine high pressure cleaning and watering the hospital gardens.

"Barwon Water is pleased to be able to support this initiative, which has twofold benefits for the hospital," Ms Munoz said.

"The project marries water conservation with community safety and gives the hospital a secure, self-sufficient supply source."

Lorne Community Hospital Chief Executive Officer Janelle Bryce said the grant added enormous value to the bushfire preparations initiated by community fundraising.

"During the event of a major fire this resource could keep the hospital operational which would be of huge benefit for the Surf Coast community," she said.

Barwon Water provided $6100 through round two of its major grants program toward the tank.

The grants program was launched in 2009 and initially targeted customers using more than 10 million litres of water a year. Eight business and industrial customers were successful in securing funding for projects that will save almost 300 million litres a year.

In late 2010, the program was expanded to include small businesses, schools and community groups.

Ten organisations, including Lorne Community Hospital, received funding worth a total of $109,000 in round two of the program.