WARRACKNABEAL sporting clubs will benefit from a $4.4-million upgrade to the town's wastewater treatment plant.
Minster for Water Peter Walsh, who officially opened the upgrade yesterday, said recycled water piped from the treatment plant would keep Warracknabeal Racecourse green and even.
He said treated water would be used to maintain 3.5 hectares of track surface and surrounding grounds.
The upgrade will also benefit Warracknabeal Golf Club, which uses recycled water for its greens.
Yarriambiack Shire Mayor Kylie Zanker said the upgrade was wonderful for the Warracknabeal community.
"It's just fantastic to be able to have such a great resource so the racecourse and the golf club can grow and flourish and we can have those lush, green areas," she said.
Cr Zanker said the racecourse would benefit from improved water quality.
She said race meetings were cancelled a few years ago because of salinity.
"The salinity was of real detriment to the racecourse. It's great to have the security the treatment plant will provide," she said.
"It's also great from an environmental perspective because water that would have otherwise been wasted is now being treated and put to good use."
Warracknabeal Racing Club manager Lisa Inkster said the upgrade was great for the track.
"We're always happy to have access to water," she said.
"The upgrade to the plant will provide us with continuity for racing, because we know we'll be able to race regardless of the weather.
"Obviously if there's too much water we can't race on it, but in arid conditions it's always a worry that there won't be enough water around."
Warracknabeal Racecourse attracts more than 4000 people a year to race meetings.
Mrs Inkster said the club was looking forward to its next meeting, the Sheep Hills Cup on September 8.
Warracknabeal Racecourse is also used twice a month by the Riding for the Disabled Association, providing for nine clients, eight horses and 25 volunteers.
Mr Walsh said the Warracknabeal Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade resulted in significantly reduced odour emissions, evaporation rates and salt levels.
"The plant uses fully automated and flexible technology, which provides many advantages," he said.
"It can also be easily upgraded to achieve higher reuse water standards if required for future applications.
"The innovative technology being used at Warracknabeal and another plant in St Arnaud makes the plants the first of their kind in Australia."
The St Arnaud upgrade, which also cost $4.4 million, opened in December.
Both projects were completed as one contract during the past 12 months.