Springwood Uniting Church in the Blue Mountains has installed water tanks for regeneration of land near the creek and for toilet flushing.
When the Moderator Rev. Neill Reid came to the Springwood Uniting Church on Sunday, 29 November, 2009 to dedicate the Church’s Community Water Project he said, ‘This is a new experience for me. I have not been asked to dedicate a set of tanks and retrofitting to toilets before.’
Rev. Reid went on to praise the perseverance of the Springwood Uniting Church, firstly in obtaining the $50,000 partnership grant from the Commonwealth Government but more particularly for pursuing the project through unforeseen difficulties to the end. ‘I believe this is a fine example of the Uniting Church’s commitment to caring for the environment. I am sure this will encourage the community at large to embark on similar local projects,’ he added.
Rev. Janice Freeston welcomed the Moderator and guests and thanked them for their encouragement. She asked Marie Standen, who with Bill Clague, led the project, to outline its history. Mrs Standen explained the many hitches the project met on the way.
‘The application for the grant had to be detailed and outline the Church’s commitment to maintaining the maintenance, the irrigation of the area to be regenerated and the preparedness for bushfire.
‘We were babes in the wood when it came to meeting the regulations of the Council, Sydney Water and the Rural Fire Service and quickly sought the professional help of an engineer, Toby Fiander, and Abel Ecology. Once all permissions were granted Stage 1 proceeded smoothly. However, when Stage 2 struck unexpected problems and we had to modify the project and the whole procedure had to be repeated. At last we have a 33,500 litre re-enforced concrete in-ground tank retrofitted to the toilets in the Day Care centre and a 30.000 litre above ground tank to provide irrigation for the regeneration of the land near the creek. As this is within the fire prone area it will be available for bush firefighting purposes.’
Mrs Staden praised the efficiency of the local tradesmen and thanked the many people who helped and encouraged them along the way. She also gave this advice to other congregations wishing to do a similar project: 'Congregations should realise that these projects often cost more than they estimate and take much longer. However, it is well worth it in the end.'