Barwon Water recognised for environmental leadership

Media release issued 23 September 2011

The Barwon Water Alliance was last night highly commended in the Victorian Engineering Excellence Awards environment category for its work on the Meredith water supply improvement project.

The project involved constructing a pump station and 11.5 kilometre pipeline to connect Meredith to the Geelong supply network.

Barwon Water Managing Director Michael Malouf said the recognition reflected the significant amount of work undertaken to minimise environmental impacts during construction.

"The pipeline was laid through a volcanic plains bioregion that contains Commonwealth and State-listed threatened species and communities," Mr Malouf said.

"Extensive flora, fauna and cultural heritage investigations were carried out before work began and specific construction techniques were selected to minimise impacts."

He said potential weed introduction was successfully managed by implementing controlled access points, equipment wash down and disinfection and boring under native vegetation.

"A work crew awareness program, including seminars, inductions and monthly audits, also helped develop a high understanding of significant flora and fauna and environmental controls," he said.

The awards recognise engineering activities that positively impacted the surrounding environment. Projects must have had particular direction to enhance quality of life, protect the natural environment, assess and mitigate environmental impact or to remediate environmental damage.

Connecting Meredith to the Geelong system will provide supply security by cutting reliance on the drought-stressed West Moorabool River and result in improved water quality for the township's residents.

The project was delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance, which combines the skills and experience of Barwon Water, construction company John Holland and design and engineering specialists GHD.