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Latest news blog

Head office refurb begins

Lisa Neville, Minister for Water and Labor Member for Bellarine, today marked the commencement of Barwon Water’s $29 million Ryrie Street head office refurbishment.

The building will be gutted and updated to meet modern standards. The revitalised site will feature a community hub and pedestrian link connecting Ryrie Street to the arts precinct including the new library and Geelong Performing Arts Centre.

Barwon Water Managing Director Joe Adamski and Water Minister Lisa Neville at this morning's project launch.

We will hand over the site to construction contractor Monaco Hickey this week, with demolition work to begin before the end of the month. Construction is scheduled to start later this year and is scheduled for completion by mid-2017.

The project will see up to 100 jobs to be created during construction in a boost to the regional economy. Monaco Hickey has sought to engage local trades where possible.

Consolidating our corporate activities under one roof will bring savings of up to 45% on energy, maintenance and operational costs.

Importantly, the project will be price-neutral, funded by operational savings and consolidation of buildings.

  More information: Ryrie Street office refurbishment

  Media release: Victorian Government "Barwon Water head office refurbishment commencing"

  See photos on our Facebook page

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Not so flushable wipes

Popular ‘flushable’ wet wipes don’t break down quickly, unlike regular toilet paper. Instead, they are increasingly becoming a source of sewerage system blockages.

The wipes tend to clump together (or accumulate around tree roots that have invaded pipes) where they trap grease and oil, causing a blockage. Blocked sewer pipes can be costly and difficult to repair, and may even cause unpleasant overflows.

Barwon Water is working with a Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) industry group to develop appropriate ‘flushability’ standards for wipes manufacturers.

In the meantime, we urge our customers to dispose of wet wipes in the bin instead.

  Media release issued 4 August 2015: “Flushable wipes”

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Anglesea outfall fast-tracked

Barwon Water has accelerated plans to replace the Anglesea outfall pipeline replacement after it was damaged when a section of cliff collapsed late last month.

The pipe carries Class B recycled water. It connects the Anglesea water reclamation plant – located on the coastal cliffs – to the outfall on the sea floor. Due the recent rock fall, the pipe was damaged and recycled water is flowing onto the beach. Although the flow rate is low and the water is treated to a very high standard, we advise people to avoid contact. Signs are erected in the vicinity.

Plans were already underway to replace the pipe when it was damaged. A replacement pipe will be bored from the plant, beneath the cliff, and approximately 185 metres out to sea. The new pipe will not be prone to cliff erosion, as it will be drilled well below the cliff base.

Scoping work is underway, and the project is expected to be complete before summer.

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East Geelong sewage spill

Barwon Water is repairing a damaged sewerage main on Boundary Road, East Geelong.

As a result of the pipeline failure, some sewage flowed into a stormwater drain and made its way into Corio Bay.

Daily water sampling will be undertaken and continue until water quality has returned to normal levels. This is expected within a few days.

Repairs are expected to be completed today. The cause of the failure is still to be determined.

Services to residents have not been disrupted. We have notified EPA Victoria.

You can report a water or sewage-related emergency (such as a leak or burst) to us 24×7 on 1300 656 007.

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Going green for Schools Tree Day

Torquay students lent a helping hand to plant out part of the Black Rock bike path.

Students from Torquay’s St Therese Primary School brought their green thumbs to the Black Rock bike path for Schools Tree Day.

Around 150 grade 3/4 students donned gumboots and gloves to plant out a section of the walking and cycling path near Black Rock Road, Connewarre.

More than 1,000 indigenous trees and shrubs were provided by the Geelong Community Nursery — a partnership between Barwon Water and Karingal.

Schools Tree Day is an initiative of Planet Ark.

  Planet Ark: Schools Tree Day

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Permanent water saving rules apply every day of the year

You can run your water feature (if it recirculates water) all year round. 

Regardless of rainfall, weather or the volume of our water storages, simple common-sense and permanent water saving rules apply every day to conserve water now and for the future. The four key rules are:

  1. Hand-held hoses must be fitted with trigger nozzles and be free of leaks.
  2. Gardens and lawns may be watered with a hand-held hose or watering can at anytime. Sprinklers and watering systems may be used after 6 pm and before 10 am.
  3. Fountains and water features can be used, provided they recirculate water.
  4. Paved areas and hard surfaces should only be washed if required after an accident, for safety reasons, to remove stains, or during building work.

The rules apply only to drinking water (not recycled, tank, bore or grey water).

  Permanent water saving rules (residential customers)

  Permanent water saving rules (business customers)

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Prices down for 2015/2016

Barwon Water’s water, sewerage and recycled water prices for customers for the 2015/2016 financial year have been approved and apply from today. The prices are in line with the 2013–2018 Water Plan, which focuses on easing cost-of-living pressures on the community.

The independent Essential Services Commission has approved a price decrease of 7.6% over the life of the Water Plan (1.6% each year), excluding inflation.

Once CPI of 1.33% is applied, customer prices will decrease by 0.30% for the 2015/2016 financial year.

A further decrease of $0.24 will apply to the quarterly sewerage service charge as a result of savings associated with the Carbon Tax repeal in 2014.

For an average residential customer using 160 kilolitres of water a year, this translates into a decrease of around $4.15 annually. Bills vary depending on usage.

  Fees and charges (residential customers)

  Fees and charges (business customers)

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Board positions 2015: Expressions of interest

  Applications are now closed

The Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced people for board director positions for Victoria’s 19 water corporations from 1 October 2015.

The Victorian Government is committed to ensuring our boards represent the diversity of our communities. Women, indigenous people, people with a disability, young people, and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Information on how to apply will be available at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) website.

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Ryrie HQ: Contractor announced and new plans released

Monaco Hickey has been announced as the preferred construction contractor for the redevelopment of our Ryrie Street office complex.

Monaco Hickey will work with us and our architects, GHD, over the coming months to refine the design and identify any potential cost savings.

Our planning permit has been approved by the City of Greater Geelong and construction is scheduled to begin in August.

Updated designs

Our architects have created new photo-realistic renders depicting the new office complex from the front (Ryrie Street) and rear (Aitchison Place).

The updated plan features a redesigned western infill, swept back at ground level to maximise the forecourt and mirror the reverse flying buttresses of the state government building on Little Malop Street to the north.

An updated architect's impression of Ryrie HQ looking south-east from Ryrie Street. Note the raked-back western infill and open forecourt.  

A regional boost

Up to 100 jobs are expected to be created during construction.

Bringing our corporate activities under one roof will boost efficiencies and productivity. We will save up to 45% on operational, maintenance and energy costs. We’ll reap the benefits of reduced travel time and a connected, collaborative, modern workspace.

Alongside other exciting infrastructure projects like the new Geelong Library, we are looking forward to breathing new life into the city’s cultural and business precincts.

An updated architect's impression of the rear of the building from Aitchison Place.


Follow us on social media

Want to be the first to know about our exciting new developments? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We'll be using the hashtag #RyrieHQ.

  Follow us on Facebook or #RyrieHQ

  Follow us on Twitter or #RyrieHQ


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Prefer to pay in person?

Customer paying a bill at a post office 

Do you prefer to pay your bills over the counter, in person?

Our Ryrie Street customer service centre is now closed for major building works, but you can pay your water bill (and most other bills) over the counter at any Australia Post Outlet.

Barwon Water’s service region includes over 50 post offices, so there’s bound to be one near you.

  Australia Post post office locator


Other ways to pay

You can also pay your water bill over the phone, online, or by a Direct Debit payment arrangement.

  Payment options

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