Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven water supply upgrade

Barwon Water is securing the water supply system to Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven as the existing water treatment plant reaches the end of its operational life.

The townships will be connected to the greater Geelong water supply network via an 11-kilometre pipeline from Anglesea.

The $6.6-million project also involves an upgrade to the pumping station on Harvey Street, Anglesea, and a top-up disinfection system in Aireys Inlet. Much of the infrastructure at the existing treatment plant will be removed.

Painkalac Reservoir will be maintained to ensure its ongoing safety and requirement to provide passing flows to Painkalac Creek.

Construction began in August 2015 and is due for completion in mid-2016. 

 


 

Information for local residents

There are no planned disruptions to water or sewerage services as a result of construction.

Work will take place between 7 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, and from 7 am to 1 pm on Saturdays, if required. Crews may remain on site until 5 pm on Saturdays performing quiet work. No night work is planned.

Site facilities will be constructed at the pumping station site in Harvey Street, Anglesea, and at the Aireys Inlet water reclamation plant in Distillery Creek Road.

 


   

Community and stakeholder engagement

Barwon Water is committed to an ongoing dialogue with residents of Aireys Inlet, Fairhaven and Anglesea as well as stakeholders, including the Surf Coast Shire, Parks Victoria and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.

Through a dedicated community engagement team, we are in regular contact with affected residents and businesses.

Additionally, we have established a community group to investigate potential future uses of the Painkalac Reservoir.

 


  

Project background

Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven receive drinking water from the Painkalac Reservoir, filtered and disinfected at the Aireys Inlet water treatment plant.

Painkalac Reservoir is located in state forest north of Fairhaven. The water in the reservoir is naturally high in organic matter, subject to seasonal blue-green algal (cyanobacteria) blooms and high in manganese — a naturally-occurring element that can affect the colour, taste and odour of drinking water.

The water treatment plant utilises a range of specialised treatment processes to deal with the unique, complex and fluctuating challenges associated with 'raw' water from reservoir. The plant has been in service since 1989 and is at the end of its operational life.

In 2012, Barwon Water began considering options for the continued supply of high quality drinking water to these towns. Options included repacing the treatment plant or connecting the towns to greater Geelong's water supply network via Anglesea.

In 2014, following detailed design, cost estimates and an extensive community and stakeholder engagement program, the Barwon Water Board chose the pipeline option for a number of key reasons, notably:

Cost

The pipeline project is budgeted at $6.6 million, $2.7 million less than projected for a new treatment plant, with fewer ongoing costs.

Flexibility and supply security

While Painkalac Reservoir relies soley rainfall, greater Geelong can draw on a number of sources to meet changing circumstances.

Energy and environment

The pipeline will use roughly one-sixth the energy compared to a new treatment plant. A treatment plant would also require significantly more chemical treatment.

Life expectancy

The pipeline has a life expectancy of 80 years, with mechanical and electrical components requiring replacement after approximately 20 years. A new treatment plant would need to be replaced again after 20 to 25 years.

   


  

News and updates

22 August 2014: Aireys Inlet to connect to greater Geelong's water supply network
21 June 2014: Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven water supply upgrade information day
22 April 2014: Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven information display
17 April 2014: Aireys Inlet water supply upgrade: video
27 February 2014: Learn about water supply upgrade options for Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven

 


 

Frequently asked questions

Will the project affect my water rates?
Can the Geelong supply system also meet demand in Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven?
Will Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven be subject to water restrictions?
What's the route of the new pipeline?
What will happen to Painkalac Reservoir?
Will drinking water supplied via Anglesea be different to the water from Painkalac Resevoir?
Wasn’t an upgrade recently completed at Painkalac Reservoir?
Will the pipeline be used to take water from Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven to Geelong?

 

Will the project affect my water rates?

No. Customer prices will not be affected.

All residential customers across our entire service region pay the same water rates, regardless of their location.

 

Can the Geelong supply system also meet demand in Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven?

Yes. Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven water use represents only about 0.5% (ie. half of one per cent) of that already available in the Geelong supply system.

 

Will Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven be subject to water restrictions?

Barwon Water’s investment in alternative supply sources mean water restrictions are highly unlikely in the greater Geelong area for several decades.

Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven — along with greater Geelong — are currently under the Permanent Water Saving Plan. The plan outlines a set of commonsense rules that apply every day of the year.

 

What's the route of the new pipeline?

The pipeline will begin at the pumping station in Harvey Street, Anglesea. The route is west along Harvey Street, through the Great Otway National Park, along Distillery Creek Road and Bimbadeen Drive, connecting to the existing Aireys Inlet water treatment plant.

  

What will happen to Painkalac Reservoir?

The reservoir will be maintained to ensure its ongoing safety and requirement to provide passing flows to Painkalac Creek. It is not being decommissioned.

A community reference group is investigating possible future uses of the reservoir.

 

Will drinking water supplied via Anglesea be different to the water from Painkalac Reservoir?

Yes. Anglesea is supplied from the West Barwon catchment in the Otway Ranges, which also supplies greater Geelong. The water is treated at the Wurdee Boluc treatment plant and is fluoridated as directed by the Victorian Government.

Water from Painkalac Reservoir is naturally high in organic matter, is subject to seasonal blue-green algal (cyanobacteria) blooms and is high in manganese — a naturally-occurring element that can affect the colour, taste and odour of drinking water. It is currently treated at the Aireys Inlet treatment facility and is not fluoridated.

While water from different catchments can look and taste different, all drinking water supplied by Barwon Water meets the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act and relevant regulations.

 

Wasn’t an upgrade recently completed at Painkalac Reservoir?

Yes. Barwon Water completed an upgrade to the embankment and spillway to ensure the reservoir met the latest safety requirements. This upgrade was necessary, and independent of the water supply project.

 

Will the pipeline be used to take water from Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven to Geelong?

No. There are no plans to pipe water from Painkalac to supplement the Geelong water supply system.


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