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Latest news blog

New water for Meredith

The township of Meredith, 45 km north-west of Geelong, has a new water supply.

Its 1100 residents, who previously relied on the stressed West Moorabool River for their drinking water, are now linked to Geelong's supply network.

A new 11.5 kilometre pipeline from the Lethbridge tank on Medina Road means the end of fluctuating water quality from the West Moorabool River, which stopped flowing during the recent drought, forcing Barwon Water to truck in fresh supplies.

The $7.3 million project was fast-tracked due to issues associated with Meredith's ongoing supply, including high salt levels in the river and the unsustainable practice of carting water by truck.

Meredith residents can now enjoy greatly improved water quality and can take comfort in the knowledge they have a secure source of supply.

The project was delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance.

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Update on Anglesea sewer pipe repairs 3

We will construct a new sewer pipeline beneath the Anglesea River, rather than repair the damaged pipe.

The new pipe will be laid by boring below the river bed, minimising the impact on local residents, visitors and the environment.

Work will begin within weeks and is scheduled to be completed by Christmas.

In the meantime, we are constructing a temporary, above-ground bypass, crossing the river between Coogoorah Park and Wray Street.

We will continue to transport sewage from west Anglesea by truck to the water reclamation plant, and recycled water from Aireys Inlet to the Anglesea and Lorne facilities.

The temporary pipe will follow existing walking tracks. Some paths in Coogoorah Park will be fenced off during construction.

We would like to thank Anglesea residents for their patience and apologise for any disruption caused during construction.

If you have any comments, concerns or questions, please contact us.

This project is being delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance

  Media release: Anglesea pipe solution (Tuesday 30 August 2011)

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Update on Anglesea sewer pipe repairs 2

We have engaged our design and construction specialists, the Barwon Water Alliance to repair the damaged sewer pipeline underneath the Anglesea River.

Several repair options are being considered, including inserting a flexible sleeve inside the existing pipe or boring a brand new pipeline below the riverbed.

The difficult and complex job could take up to two months to complete, but we are committed to completing all works before the end of October ahead of the summer tourist influx.

We are 100% committed to the health of the Anglesea River, and will ensure the new or repaired pipeline has the highest possible integrity.

The pipeline will remain shut down until repairs are complete. Meanwhile, sewage from west Anglesea will be transported by truck to the treatment plant. There will be no disruption to service for local residents or businesses.

We'll continue to keep our community informed, and encourage customers to contact us if they have any concerns.

  Media release: Pipe repair update (Friday 19 August 2011) 

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Update on Anglesea sewer pipe repairs

We're busy investigating repair options for a damaged sewer pipe beneath the Anglesea River.

The pipe was damaged and a leak detected last week. The pipe was carrying about 85% recycled water and 15% sewage, which entered the Anglesea River.

Specialist divers have been called in and a first attempt to repair the pipe with a stainless steel sleeve over the damaged section was unsuccessful. Other repair options include inserting a flexible sleeve or building a new river crossing.

The pipe has been shut down and remains offline.

We will continue to monitor water quality in the Anglesea River. The latest test results have been below the acceptable safe level.

While repairs are underway, sewage from west Anglesea will be trucked to the Anglesea water reclamation plant, and recycled water from Aireys Inlet will be stored in purpose-built lagoons.

We are confident that the leak has posed no risks to the community, and are committed to repairing the fault as quickly as possible.

  Media release: Update on Anglesea sewer pipe repairs (Thursday 18 August 2011)

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Telephone system failure

We would like to apologise to any customers who attempted to contact us on Saturday 13 August.

A fault in our telephone system meant calls to our 24-hour emergencies and faults number, 13WATER (13 92 83), were not answered from 3 pm on Saturday afternoon until early Sunday morning.

We believe planned maintenance works caused an electrical outage which triggered the fault.

As the 13WATER phone number is a critical service to our customers, we will be undertaking an independent review into the incident.

The review will help us to improve our service in the future.

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Anglesea sewer pipe repairs

We have started repairing a damaged sewer pipe beneath the Anglesea River.

A leak was detected in the pipe, which crosses the Anglesea River between River Reserve Road and Wray Street, last week.

The pipe was immediately switched off and warning signs were temporarily placed along the river to alert the community about the spill.

We have been regularly testing water quality near the spill site since the leak was detected.

Initial tests showed only moderately elevated levels of E.coli near the spill site.

Within 48 hours of the spill, this reading fell to be within safe levels.

We are confident the spill did not pose a risk to the community.

The repair is difficult and will take several days to complete.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is Victoria's independent body responsible for protecting and caring for our environment.

External link  EPA Victoria: Anglesea River Barwon Water sewer spill

Internal link  Media release: Anglesea sewer pipe repairs (Tuesday 16 August 2011)

Internal link  Media release: Divers repair damaged pipe (Wednesday 17 August 2011)

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Water storages still on the rise

Geelong region water storages have topped the elusive 90% mark for the first time in more than nine years. The last time storages were above 90% was in December 2001 (prior to that: November 1996).

Rainfall at the West Barwon reservoir, in the Otway Ranges, has been well above average this year. July rainfall was the highest since 1978.

Image of a girl in heavy rain.

Storages in the Moorabool system are collectively 97% full, the healthiest they have been for over 15 years.

Lal Lal reservoir began spilling at the end of last month, the first time it has overflowed since December 1996. (Lal Lal reservoir, south of Ballarat, is jointly managed by Barwon Water and Central Highland Water).

Lal Lal and Korweinguboora reservoirs are both at 100% capacity.

Internal link  Water storages

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Construction underway on the Northern Water Plant

Works are progressing well at the Northern Water Plant, Geelong's next water recycling facility. The plant is being built adjacent to the Shell refinery in Corio.

Construction began in March 2011. Earthworks are almost finished and work on concrete civil structures such as holding tanks is well underway.


Over the next two months we will continue working on the civil structure and buildings, and begin building offsite pumping stations at Oyster Cove and Corio West.

The $94 million water recycling facility will reduce Geelong's drinking water demand by two billion litres a year.

The plant is expected to be operational in 2013.

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Upgrades underway in Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale

Work has begun on a new $8.5 million sewer main, part of a $16 million upgrade of the Queenscliff / Point Lonsdale sewerage system.

The pipeline is being bored underground to minimise disruption.

Image shows a construction site with works in progress, including a crane unloading pipes and supervising staff.

Work is underway on a new sewer pipeline btween Ocean Grove and Point Lonsdale.

The 4.3 kilometre pipeline will connect a new pumping station on Shell Road, west of Point Lonsdale, to an existing pumping station on Bonnyvale Road, Ocean Grove.

The new infrastucture will increase the capacity and reliability of the system, and meet expected population growth forthe next 40 years.
Work is expected to be completed in November.

This project is being delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance.

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Pipeline crosses Werribee River

Construction of the Melbourne to Geelong Pipeline is progressing well, with seven different crews hard at work along the length of the pipe alignment.

This timelapse video shows captures an important construction milestone: the crossing of the Werribee River at Cobbledicks Ford.

The bluestones at the heritage-listed ford were painstakingly lifted and re-laid by hand to allow the crossing.

A sandbag levy and bypass pumps were constructed to divert the river flow during construction.

Construction works have been inspected by environmental officers, flora and fauna identification specialists, animal handlers and archaeologists.

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