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What do Pentridge Prison, 40 acres of fruit trees and 726,000 litres of stored water have in common? All three are key parts in the story of the creation of one couple's dream property in country Victoria.
Paul Rossignol spent a lifetime in the demolition industry. When he won the contract to pull down the old Remand Centre in Victoria's Pentridge Prison, he had a vision for where the hand-quarried bluestone blocks were going to be reused.
Pentridge Prison built in 1851 was locally referred to as the 'Bluestone College'. Famously (or infamously), it was also the site of Australia's last execution and the site of Ned Kelly's grave.
Paul and his partner Jane Fulton own a 'Shangri-la' property named San Mateo Park at Clonbinane about an hour north of Melbourne, and it was where the newly-freed bluestone was bound.
"The Pentridge Bluestone was stored for many years waiting for me to retire," said Paul. "Then we set about using it as feature walls around the ornamental lake which is stocked with 600 Silver Perch." The result is a stunning garden of epic proportions.
In total, San Mateo Park is 197 acres of mainly native bush, of which 40 acres has been cleared for the house site and the gardens. Within the irrigated gardens there are over 50 different varieties of fruit trees, seasonal vegetables and of course native flowering trees and bushes.
Rainwater is harvested from the catchment of the current house (which is soon to increase in size) and the huge machinery shed, giving a total of over 2000 square metres. With an annual rainfall of approximately 800 millimetres, the couple can harvest 1.6 million litres of water for reuse within the property.
Jane was partially burnt out in the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires so is well aware of how important stored water plays in defending a bushfire.
Previously, the rain water was harvested into two 22,500L Poly tanks which were not adequate in the 2009 fires. The other issue with smaller capacity tanks is that they always overflow in winter and run bone dry in summer.
"We set out to future proof the property," said Jane. "When required, I want to be able to frivolous with water."
To meet this goal large capacity water storage tanks were required.
Jane found the solution she was looking for when she attended the Seymour Alternative Field Days and spent time with the team from Kingspan/Rhino working out the best solution.
A site visit from Kingspan's Rural Sales Account Manager Ron James followed the field day, which established that two 362,000 litre Kingspan Rhino Tanks were the perfect solution to deliver the water security needed.
The result is a magnificent array of flowering gardens, vegetables and fruit trees - and some Rhino Tanks - all of epic proportions.
Kingspan Rhino rural water tanks are built tough with genuine Australian BlueScope ZINCALUME® steel and are available in the full range of COLORBOND® colours. Tanks range in size from 26,000 litres up to 365,000 litres. All tanks have a reinforced food grade 7-layer liner to keep your water fresh, making them ideal for rural, farming and residential needs. Since 1934, we have manufactured quality, long-lasting water tanks and accessories. Backed by a 20 year conditional warranty, an Australian made Kingspan Rhino water tank is the ideal solution for your rainwater harvesting and bore water storage needs. Visit our website to find out more.
This is branded content for Kingspan Australia.
The story Epic storage solution delivers water security to bring rural property vision to life first appeared on The Land.