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Latest news blog

Bannockburn upgrade complete

A major upgrade of Bannockburn's water reclamation plant has been completed.

The $4.3 million project includes new treatment and storage lagoons and a pumping station at the Stephens Road site.

The new lagoons provide additional storage for 100 million litres of Class C recycled water suitable for irrigating sporting grounds, recreational facilities and certain food crops.

New lagoons can store 100 million litres of recycled water.

The plant, built in the late 1990s, was originally designed for a population of 3000. With a significant growth forecast for Bannockburn, the updated infrastructure will cater for future development.

The facility supplies recycled water to the nearby Bannockburn Golf Club. The upgrade will create opportunities for potential new recycled water customers.

The work was part of a $12.7 million program of works to improve local water and sewerage services. Nearby projects include replacing a pumping station (due for completion in January 2013) and a new water storage tank (scheduled to begin early next year), both on Milton Road.

This project was delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance.

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Work beginning on Apollo Bay storage

We are upgrading the water supply to Apollo Bay, Marengo and Skenes Creek.

A new 250 million litre water storage will meet forecast growth and spell the end of summer water restrictions in these towns.

In addition to the new basin, the project includes replacing the existing Barham River pumping station, building a new transfer pumping station, and laying the connecting pipelines.

The storage is expected to be operational in 2014 and will meet forecast growth until 2055.


Drop in to our new project office, 93 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay. 


Construction update

Site set-up has begun and environmental controls, including silt fences and groundwater and dust management, are being established.

Site sheds and amenities are being installed on Barham River Road.

We expect to have earthworks and the basin lining completed before winter 2013.


Changed traffic conditions ahead

We are asking residents to please be mindful of changed traffic conditions around Barham River Road.

There will be a number of very large trucks delivering materials and equipment to the site during the next month.


Visit our project office

A project office has been established at 93 Great Ocean Road in Apollo Bay (Great Ocean Raod Real Estate, corner of Great Ocean Road and Moore Street).

Residents are welcome to drop in for more information about the work.


This project is being delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance.


  Apollo Bay water supply

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Lorne reservoir upgraded

Lorne's Allen Reservoir has been given a $900,000 upgrade.

The outlet tower — that collects water from the reservoir and transfers it to the treatment plant — has been replaced, and the tower can now be operated remotely.

The upgrade allows operators to choose at what depth the water is taken from the reservoir, which has already resulted in higher quality intake water.

Lorne's water quality has improved thanks to a $900,000 upgrade to the Allen Reservoir.

The 222 million litre reservoir, built in 1958, is Lorne's sole water source of drinking water. This upgrade will improve security and services to Lorne and reflects advances in water supply operations. The project demonstrates Barwon Water's commitment to deliver quality services efficiently.

This project was delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance.

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Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant open day - Sunday 25 November

The Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant — the region's largest sewage treatment and water recycling facility — is once again opening its doors to the public.

Find out how we treat up to 50 million litres of residential and industrial sewage every day of the year.

See construction progress on the new Class A recycled water plant, which will soon supply high quality recycled water to new residential developments in Armstrong Creek and Torquay North.

The Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant in Connewarre.

The Black Rock environmental precinct will soon be home to a new a new recycled water plant.

Learn more about the innovative role our newly completed biosolids drying plant plays in sewage treatment.

Join us for a guided tour of the facility and learn about our exciting plans for the future.


11 am — 3 pm

Sunday 25 November 2012


Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant

Black Rock Road, Connewarre (Google map)

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Open doors for mural tours

We are opening our doors to the public this weekend to showcase a unique mural — part of the Open House Geelong program.

In 1977, the (then) Geelong Water and Sewerage Trust commissioned renowned artist and illustrator Robert Ingpen to create a mural for its new offices in Ryrie Street.

Image shows a section of the mural in the Barwon Water boardroom. Part of the boardroom table and chairs are visible in the foreground. The Open House Geelong brand is overlaid.

The historic mural painted by local artist Robert Ingpen is housed in the Barwon Water boardroom. 

The mural, which depicts water cycle management in the Geelong region, is 2.8 metres tall and almost 7 metres long.

Once the pride of the Ryrie Street customer service centre, the mural now adorns the Barwon Water boardroom. 


Saturday 10 November 2012

10.00 am – 3.00 pm

Tours run every 30 minutes


Barwon Water

61–67 Ryrie Street Geelong VIC 3220

Google map

Cost: Free

Barwon Water is one of 12 buildings open to the public for free on this weekend for Open House Geelong. The day allows the public to explore great contemporary, historic and sustainable buildings and spaces they would not normally be able to access.


  Open House Geelong website

  Open House Geelong on Facebook

  Open House Geelong on Twitter

  Open House Geelong on Pinterest

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Colac community reference group formed

The inaugural Colac community reference group has been formed and will hold its first meeting this month.

Barwon Water appointed 11 local community representatives to the group who will assist in selecting a new water source for Colac.

The members of the Colac community reference group are:

  • Geoff Iles — CEO, Colac Area Health (Chair)
  • Helen Paatsch — Community member
  • Bruce Lawson — General Manager, Colac Herald
  • Glenn McVilly — Director Spence Construction
  • Tony Baldwin — Chairman Colac Area Health, Manton Group
  • Henry Bongers — Director BDH Construction
  • Anthony McDonald — Charles Stewart & Co. Real Estate
  • Hans Fankhanel — Otway Ranges Environment Network
  • Jan Greig — Upper Barwon Landcare Network
  • Lachlan Sutherland — Dairy farmer
  • Doug Chant — Dairy farmer, Victorian Farmers Federation

Community representatives will be joined by Barwon Water staff, including:

  • Justin Franklin — Water Resources Coordinator
  • Gwyn Hatton — Water Resources Planning Officer
  • Donna Gibson — Community Engagement Officer
  • Darren Milverton — Coordinator Otway Customer Service Centres


  Colac water supply upgrades


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Stage 2 water restrictions to apply in Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo

Stage 2 water restrictions will be reintroduced in the coastal townships of Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo this weekend ahead of summer.

Restrictions will apply from Sunday 4 November 2012 to Saturday 27 April 2013.

Although local water storages are currently above 95%, restrictions will ensure the limited capacity of the Marengo basin copes with the summer tourist influx.

Under Stage 2 restrictions, lawn watering is prohibited. Watering systems are permitted between 6—8 am and 6—8 pm on alternate days.

Work on a new 250 million litre water storage is due to start this month. The upgraded system is expected to be operational in 2014, and will spell the end of summer restrictions.

We would like to thank all our customers in Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek and Marengo for their continued cooperation.


  Stage 2 water restrictions – information for residents

  Stage 2 water restrictions – information for businesses

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Colac community reference group applications closing soon

Applications to join Barwon Water's new community reference group for Colac close this Friday 12 October 2012

We are looking for 8–10 representatives from broad range of community sectors such as business, industry, landowners, environmental groups, social welfare groups and farmers to join up to 4 Barwon Water members in a advisory board.

Colac community reference group members should:

  • have an active interest in community and/or local environmental issues
  • live in the Colac Otway region
  • have strong community networks
  • possess a broad understanding of local water supply issues.

Colac Community Reference Group: terms of reference and expresssion of interest


We anticipate that the community reference group will convene monthly until June 2013. We may need to meet more often, or extend the timings.

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Changes to delivery of plumbing consent numbers

Plumbers will now receive consent numbers electronically through a new service offered by Barwon Water.

This service will deliver consent numbers to plumbers instantly once applications have been processed.

Previously, consent numbers were provided through a phone call or mailed in the post.

Now, once an application has been processed, we will send consent numbers by text message. Plumbers can also choose to receive consent numbers via email.

These text messages and emails will provide plumbers with an instant record of the consent number once their application has been processed.

Consent numbers and relevant documentation will still be posted once detailed design work has been completed.

  Property connections

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No price rises for 5 years

Barwon Water is proposing no increases to water and sewerage prices over the next 5 years, excluding inflation.

The Water Plan, submitted to the Essential Services Commission today, recommends a 5-year price hold from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2018. The price hold would be exclusive of inflation as determined by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The Essential Services Commission is the independent regulator for the water industry.

The recommendation is in marked contrast to the previous 5-year Water Plan period where ‘double digit' price rises funded a record capital investment program to secure greter Geelong's water supply.

Barwon Water's Board of Directors is committed to minimising prices, while meeting the demands of population growth and maintaining high quality water and sewerage services.

  Water Plan 2013–2018


The draft 2013 Water Plan was released for public comment in May, 2012, and proposed a 1% annual price rise. However, cost savings and efficiencies identified since have allowed prices rises to be limited to CPI only.

The previous 5-year planning period saw record capital investment on infrastructure projects and initiatives necessary to guarantee the Geelong region's water supply for several decades. Approximately $772 million was invested under the 2008 Water Plan.

Under the 2013–2018 Water Plan, projected expenditure is halved to $360 million. Projects to be delivered include upgrading Colac's water supply and the region's largest sewage treatment facility: the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant.

  Media release: Barwon Water to hold down prices

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