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Latest news blog

Opening our doors for Open House Geelong

See Robert Ingpen's mural depicting the water cycle as part of the Open House Geelong project.

Come and see the inner workings of Barwon Water’s Ryrie Street head office as part of Open House Geelong this weekend.

Visitors can see the building’s refurbishment plans, which will allow us to accommodate our Geelong-based workforce in one building.

The tour will also take in the boardroom, featuring ahuge hand-painted mural by renowned local artist and illustrator Robert Ingpen.


10 am — 3 pm,

Saturday 25 October 2014

Tours to run every 30 minutes


Barwon Water

61–67 Ryrie Street, Geelong

 Google map

Barwon Water is one of 17 buildings open to the public for free as part of the Open House Geelong initiative.

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


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Interested in joining the Painkalac Reservoir community and agency group?

We are looking for community members to join a community and agency group to discuss future uses of Painkalac Reservoir.

The reservoir will be taken out of service when Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven are connected to the greater Geelong supply system via a pipeline from Anglesea. Construction of the pipeline is scheduled to begin in July next year.

We are looking for 8–10 representatives from a range of sectors including residents, businesses, community groups and environmental groups to join up to four Barwon Water members in an advisory group.

Painkalac Reservoir community and agency group members should:

  • have an active interest in community and/or local environmental issues
  • preferably live in Aireys Inlet or Fairhaven
  • have strong community networks
  • possess a broad understanding of key issues in the Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven area
  • have a general appreciation of considerations associated with public spaces / community facilities.

Painkalac Reservoir community and agency group: terms of reference and expresssion of interest


We anticipate that the community and agency group will convene every second month until November 2015. We may need to meet more often, or extend the timings.

Expressions of interest are welcome until 5 pm, Friday 31 October 2014.

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Aireys Inlet to connect to greater Geelong's water supply network

Barwon Water’s Board of Directors yesterday approved the construction of a pipeline connecting the coastal towns of Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven to the Geelong water supply network via Anglesea.

The connection was chosen as the preferred option for replacing the existing 25-year-old water treatment plant, which has reached the end of its operational life. The alternative was a new treatment facility built next to the existing plant.

The Board considered a number of factors in making its decision, notably:

  • cost
  • water quality
  • environmental impact
  • supply security
  • bushfire resilience
  • community and stakeholder feedback.

The 11-kilometre pipeline from Harvey Street, Anglesea, to Aireys Inlet will cost $6.6 million, $2.7 million less than a new treatment plant. It will source water from the West Barwon catchment via the Wurdee Boluc Reservoir which also supplies greater Geelong.

Currently, Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven are supplied solely by the Painkalac Reservoir, which will be taken out of service but maintained for fire fighting purposes and ensuring continued environmental flows into Painkalac Creek.

  Aireys Inlet water supply upgrade: Q&A on Board decison 21 August 2014 (PDF 35 KB)

  Media release issued 22 August 2014: Pipeline given the green light 

  More information: Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven water supply upgrade

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Head office refurbishment announced

Barwon Water’s Ryrie Street head office will be refurbished to accommodate all Geelong-based office employees.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine today announced plans to centralise our Geelong offices.

An architect's impression of the refurbished Ryrie Street complex.

The project will see the Ryrie Street complex refurbished and updated to accommodate all office-based employees in a single location.

Barwon Water's Geelong staff are currently split between two outdated offices: Ryrie Street in central Geelong and Lonsdale Street in South Geelong.

Centralising employees in one building will mean increased productivity, efficiencies and cost savings, including reductions of up to 45% on maintenance, operational and energy costs.

Importantly, the project will be price neutral, with operational savings and consolidation of buildings to fund the work.

  More on the Ryrie Street refurbishment

  Victorian Premier's media release: $25 million Barwon Water HQ upgrade another boost for CBD

  For more architect's impressions and updates, follow us on Facebook

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Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven water supply upgrade information day

Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven are supplied by the Painkalac Reservoir.

The Aireys Inlet / Fairhaven water treatment plant is approaching the end of its operational life and we are considering two upgrade options:

  • replacing the 25-year-old treatment plant, or
  • connecting to the greater Geelong supply network via a pipeline from Anglesea.

We are hosting another community information day to provide project updates and cost comparisons.

The project team will be on hand to answer your questions and listen to your feedback.


10 am — 2 pm

Saturday 9 August 2014


Aireys Inlet Community Centre

6 Great Ocean Road, Aireys Inlet

 Google map

  Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven water supply upgrade

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Class A recycled water now connected

Residents in Armstrong Creek and Torquay North are now connected to the Class A recycled water network.

Minister for Water Peter Walsh visited Armstrong Creek where ultimately up to 22,000 homes will connect to the recycled water scheme.

A further 2,500 homes and recreational areas will be supplied at Torquay North.

The dual-pipe system is expected to ultimately save 2,400 million litres of drinking water a year at Armstrong Creek and 350 million litres a year at Torquay North.

Residents can use Class A recycled water to water gardens, flush toilets and wash cars.

It is charged at 80% of the price of drinking water and is not subject to water restrictions.

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Corporate Plan outlines savings


Barwon Water released its 2014/2015 to 2018/2019 Corporate Plan today, which sets the corporation’s strategic direction moving forward.

The plan focuses on commercial consolidation, sustainable efficiencies and innovation.

Corporate Plan 2014/2015 – 2018/2019


Barwon Water expects to achieve reductions in operating expenditure of $36.1 million and capital expenditure of $30.1 million over the coming years with no impact on service delivery.

These savings will be returned to customers in the form of Fairer Water Bills savings.

Residential customers will benefit from savings of $320 over the next four years, beginning with a $50 rebate off their first 2014-2015 quarterly bill.

Barwon Water will continue to invest heavily in infrastructure to maintain high quality services and meet regional growth.

Over the coming five years, $338 million will be spent on capital projects. This investment of $67 million a year is higher than the pre-drought average of $43 million a year.

Key projects include the Aireys Inlet water supply upgrade, Colac water reclamation plant upgrade and ongoing investment in water, sewer and recycled water infrastructure.

The Corporate Plan also outlines pricing for the coming years.

In line with the independent Essential Services Commission’s 2013 determination, prices will decrease 1.6% (excluding CPI) each year until 2017/2018.

Once CPI of 2.93% is factored in for the financial year commencing 1 July 2014, residential and non-residential bills will increase 1.28%.


Residential customers

The new charges for residential customers are:

  • Water volume: $2.2618 per kilolitre (1 kilolitre is 1,000 litres)
  • Water service: $42.98 per quarter
  • Class A recycled water volume: $1.809 per kilolitre
  • Sewerage service: $138.67 per quarter.

For a residential customer using 165 kilolitres of water a year, this equates to an increase of 27 cents a week, or $13.91 over a year. Bills will vary depending on usage.

  Fees and charges (residential customers)


Business customers

The new charges for business customers are:

  • Water volume: $2.2618 per kilolitre
  • Water service: $42.98 per quarter
  • Sewerage volume: $1.8799 per kilolitre
  • Sewerage service: $84.00 per quarter
  • Class A recycled water volume: 1.8094 per kilolitre.

  Fees and charges (business customers)

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Apollo Bay water storage completed

Residents of the Apollo Bay region can now enjoy a secure water supply and an end to summer water restrictions with the completion of a new $22 million water storage basin.

Member for Polwarth The Hon Terry Mulder MP toured the new 250-million litre storage basin today and said it was now ready to be filled by winter rains.

The new storage basin and transfer system will secure the water supply of Apollo Bay, Marengo and Skenes Creek until 2055.

The basin is great news for the Apollo Bay community, with the increased storage capacity meaning residents will have a reliable supply year-round.

Importantly, it also means the end of summer water restrictions, which had been necessary to cope with the seasonal influx of thousands of holidaymakers.

A community open day at the storage basin will be held later this year.

  Media realease: New water storage completed (PDF 102 KB)

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Lower household water bills

Barwon Water customers will receive an average of $80 off their water bills each financial year for the next four years thanks to the Victorian Government's Fairer Water Bills initiative.

The bill reductions will be delivered to Barwon Water customers from 1 July 2014.

Residential customers will receive total savings of $320 over the next four years. This will be delivered annually as:

  • $50 reduction from 1 July 2014
  • $80 reduction from 1 July 2015
  • $90 reduction from 1 July 2016
  • $100 reduction from 1 July 2017.

As part of the Fairer Water Bills initiative, the Victorian Government asked water corporations to provide productivity and efficiency gains to help deliver lower household water bills.

Barwon Water identified capital and operational cost savings without compromising service standards or existing hardship protections. This includes innovative technology for operations and maintenance, better scheduling construction of water feeder mains, more effectively targeting expenditure on communication activities and deferring capital expenditure on new infrastructure due to improved water efficiency.

Barwon Water is working closely with the government on identifying further savings for customers.

  Media release: Lower household water bills for Barwon customers

  What the Fairer Water Bills initiative means for you

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Newtown water supply upgrade nearing completion

Barwon Water contractors have laid and connected all the pipework along Queens Park Road as part of a small but crucial upgrade to the Newtown / Highton water supply system.

The highly visible project involves replacing almost a kilometre of the 70-year-old water main, including crossing the Barwon River at Queens Park Bridge.

Contractors laying a section of the new Newtown feeder main.

The original main, laid in the 1940s, had reached the end of its service life. The new pipe will improve reliability and provide better service to customers.

We will be doing some operational testing for pressure and quality next week, and asphalting the road within the fortnight. The project is on track for completion by the end of June 2014.

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