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Latest news blog

Apollo Bay water storage information kiosk this Saturday

A key focus of our 2013-2018 Water Plan is 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.

Photograph of the foreshore at Apollo Bay.

Visit us at the Apollo Bay market and learn more about the new water storage project.

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

Visit us at the Apollo Bay community market and find out more about this exciting infrastructure project.


9 am — 1 pm

Saturday 4 August 2012


Apollo Bay community market

Great Ocean Road, between the surf life saving club and tourist information centre.

Planning permit applications for the works are currently with the Colac Otway Shire.  Construction is due to begin later this year.

This project is being delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance.


More information

  Apollo Bay water supply

  Apollo Bay water supply community information bulletin June 2012


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Joel Corey gets hands dirty for Schools Tree Day

Barwon Water youth and environment ambassador Joel Corey joined students and staff from Forrest Primary School to plant 250 native trees and shrubs at the West Barwon Reservoir as part of Schools Tree Day celebrations last week.

Ahead of his milestone game at the weekend, Joel braved wet and muddy conditions, working alongside the grade 3 to 6 students and Barwon Water staff to revegetate an area downstream of the dam with species indigenous to the area.

Forrest Primary School students Britt Coulter and Claire Mcdonald planting a native sapling with help from youth and environment ambassador Joel Corey with and Barwon Water's Khan Beckett.

The planting area was previously populated by introduced willows which were removed and now form a layer of compost from which the new trees will grow. The plantation will include a number of indigenous species, including:

  • Blackwood Wattle (Acacia melonoxylon)
  • Purple Appleberry (Billardiera longifolia)
  • Manna Gum (Eucalyptus viminalis)
  • Prickly Teatree (Leptospermum continentale).

The local students came well prepared for Forrest's wet weather, donning gumboots and raincoats and weren't afraid to get muddy for a good cause. Joel repaid the favour, signing footballs in between planting saplings.

We would like to extend our thanks to the staff and students of Forrest Primary School, the Forrest Lions Club (who supplied a barbecue lunch for the hungry planters) and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority for assistance in planning the day.

  More photos on Flickr

  More photos on Facebook

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New MD appointed

Joe Adamski has been appointed the new Managing Director of Barwon Water on a 4 year contract.

His appointment was announced today by Board Chairman Dr Michael King. Joe has been interim MD since March when Michael Malouf stepped down.

The appointment follows an exhaustive Australia-wide search that attracted 42 applicants.

Joe welcomed the opportunity to lead Barwon Water through a dynamic and challenging environment and outlined his priorities of reliable service delivery, customer affordability, business efficiency, community and stakeholder engagement and planning to meet future growth.

As Managing Director, Joe will be responsible for a business with annual revenue turnover of $205 million, a $2 billion asset base and more than 400 full-time staff.


About Joe Adamski

Joe Adamski joined Barwon Water in 1987 as Manager of Information Systems after 12 years at Telstra (then Telecom) as an analyst and senior project manager.

He has held several executive roles at Barwon Water, the most recent being General Manager of Strategy and Technology.

Joe holds a Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma in Risk Management and Advanced Management Certificate.

Educated at the former Chanel College (Geelong), the Gordon Institute of Technology and Deakin University, he is a former Chairman of St Joseph's College Board of Management and maintains a strong interest in the school.

Joe is a member of several key water industry groups, including VicWater, the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and Australian Water Association (AWA).

  Media release: Barwon Water appoints new MD

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Fats block sewer pipe in Lara

A build up of fat in a sewer main has blocked a sewer main and caused a minor overflow.

Our crews were dispatched shortly after the spill was reported at Nanton Close, Lara, earlier today.

A small amount of sewage overflowed from a manhole into nearby Hovell Creek. We have taken water quality samples and erected warning signs at the site. As a precaution, residents should avoid contact with the creek water.

Fats, oils, food scraps, medicines and toiletries often accumulate in the sewerage system and can cause odours, blockages and overflows. We ask our customers to dispose of these items in their household rubbish — not down the drain or toilet.

Customers can report overflows, burst and leaks to us on 1300 656 007: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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West Barwon Reservoir spilling: video

The West Barwon Reservoir, greater Geelong's most significant drinking water catchment, is full and overflowing for the first time in a decade.

Consistent rain over the last month has seen the reservoir spill for the first time since July 2002. The spill began on Wednesday 27 June 2012 and continues.

Check out our video, below, for some rarely seen footage of the iconic reservoir at capacity.

The reservoir's spill has flow-on benefits for our environment. During June, more than 200 million litres of water have been released for environmental flows. This environmental release, together with the water going over the spillway, will benefit the river and the environment immediately downstream of the reservoir.

In another milestone for our water storages, the Korweinguboora, Bostock and West Barwon reservoirs are now spilling simultaneously for the first time since the mid 1990s. Other reservoirs that are spilling include the West Gellibrand, Olangolah, Allen and Painkalac reservoirs.


More information

  Geelong's water supply system

  Geelong's water storages

  Our region's water storages

  This video and more on our YouTube channel

  Check out the photos on our Facebook page

  Even more photos on our Flickr Photostream


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2013 Water Plan: feedback closes soon

We would like your input on our draft 2013 Water Plan.

Feedback is welcome until Tuesday 31 July 2012 — less than 4 weeks away.

The Water Plan sets our strategic direction for the next 5 years (2013–2018). It details our service standards, business initiatives, expenditure forecasts, infrastructure plans and prices.

Water Plan 2013–2018


Key proposals outlined in the draft plan include:

  • minimising price increases to just 1% per year (excluding CPI) for the next 5 years
  • expanding and securing Colac's water supply
  • continued high levels of customer service.

Feedback should be made in writing to:

Barwon Water, Strategy and Regulation Team, PO Box 659 Geelong VIC 3220



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New water charges from 1 July 2012

Barwon Water's Board today approved water and sewerage charges for the 2012–2013 financial year in line with the Essential Services Commission's 2008 pricing determination.

Charges across residential and business sectors will rise 8.69% (including CPI of 1.58%).

For a typical residential customer using 165 kilolitres of water a year, the price rise equates to an additional $1.63 a week or $84.96 a year. Bills will vary depending on usage

The new charges are effective from 1 July 2012.

The tariff revenue will fund projects to ensure supply security and maintain quality services.

Major infrastructure projects underway include the Black Rock Recycled Water Plant ($19.7m), Apollo Bay water storage upgrade ($14.5m), Armstrong Creek recycled water pipeline ($9.m) and Armstrong Creek trunk sewer ($8.6m).

  Fees and charges: residential customers

  Fees and charges: business customers


Earlier this week, the Essential Services Commission approved an additional 3% increase to water volume and water service charges only to cover the cost of constructing the Melbourne to Geelong pipeline. Sewerage charges will not change.

The 3% increase will take effect only once the pipeline can supply water. This is expected in October. We will advise customers of the new charges before they come into effect.

The additional 3% will take the total increase for water to 11.74% overall.


Have your say on our next 5-year plan

The Water Plan is a 5-year business plan that details our service standards, business initiatives, expenditure forecasts, infrastructure plans and prices.

The plan must be approved by the Essential Services Commission (ESC) and prices must be ratified by the ESC annually.
The 2012–2013 financial year is the last year in our previous 5-year Water Plan 2008–2013, which was approved by the ESC in June 2008.

Our draft Water Plan for the next 5 years, 2013-2018, is now open for public comment. A key proposal in the new draft plan is minimising price increases to just 1% per year (excluding CPI) for the next 5 years.

  Water Plan 2013–2018

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Northern Water Plant nearing completion

Construction work at the Northern Water Plant site is around 90% complete.

With all of the structures built, focus now turns to completing the mechanical, electrical and control system fit-out.

All underground pipelines connecting the plant have been laid, two off-site pumping stations are complete, and the tanks, lagoons and buildings have be built. All equipment for the facility's state-of-the art reverse osmosis and ultra-filtration treatment processes has arrived and installation has begun. Details such as surfacing, drainage and roads are being completed.

Commissioning (operational testing) of the plant is due to begin in July. Wastewater from the Shell Geelong Refinery will be used to commission the first phase of the treatment process, including the odour treatment unit. The ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis components, which produce Class A recycled water, will be tested from August.

To date the construction site has seen the induction of 720 people, and logged 193,000 hours without injury.

When complete, the recycling facility will reduce Geelong's drinking water demand by more than 1800 million litres a year.

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Black Rock Recycled Water Plant construction update

Work on the Black Rock Recycled Water Plant project began in January 2012 and is now well underway.

The new plant is being built adjacent to the existing Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant in Connewarre. The facilities are part of the larger Black Rock Environmental Precinct, which also incorporates a biosolids drying plant, recycled water share farm, bicycle path and buffer land.

When complete, the recycled water plant will take treated water from the existing water reclamation plant and refine it with several treatment phases including ultra-filtration, reverse osmosis, ultraviolet disinfection and chlorine disinfection. The resultant Class A recycled water will be available for new 'purple pipe' residential developments at Armstrong Creek and Torquay North. A higher quality Class C recycled water will also be available for a range of non-residential customers.

The Black Rock Recycled Water Plant is on schedule for completion in mid-2013.

  Black Rock Recycled Water Plant

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Region's storages in good shape

Greater Geelong's water storages have received a 7 billion litre boost following downpours over our catchments.

The Mt Sabine weather station (near the West Barwon Reservoir in the Otway Ranges) recorded a record-breaking 202 mm of rain on Monday 4 June. The daily total eclipses the long-term average of 197 mm for the entire month.

West Barwon Reservoir jumped from 56% capacity to more than 85% full in just 24 hours, with more than 6 billion litres flowing into the dam.

Elsewhere in the region, Colac's reservoirs received a 900 million litre injection, jumping from 55% to 100% in less than two days. The West Gellibrand and Olangolah reservoirs are now full and spilling.

Painkalac Reservoir, which supplies Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven, went from 84% to overflowing in the same period, and Lorne's Allen Reservoir is also at 100% and spilling.

  Water storages report


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