New water for Meredith

Media release issued Thursday 1 September 2011

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

Its 1,100 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, which stopped flowing during the recent drought, forcing Barwon Water to truck in fresh supplies.

The tank is supplied by the Moorabool water treatment plant, which receives water from the Upper Stony Creek storages. Upper Stony Creek is in the northern catchment of Geelong's supply network.

The corporation's Chairman Roger Lowrey said the $7.3 million project had been given priority status in Barwon Water's multi-million dollar capital investment program.

"The project was fast-tracked because of issues associated with Meredith's ongoing supply, including high salt levels in the West Moorabool that could not be removed by the treatment process and the unsustainable practice of carting water," Mr Lowrey said.

"The result is that the townspeople are now enjoying greatly improved water quality and can take comfort in the knowledge they have a secure source of supply. The days of poor quality water in Meredith are over ... and that's great news for the local community," he said.

The project has involved constructing a new pump station in Medina Road, Lethbridge, and laying an underground pipe to the Meredith water treatment plant.

Two industry bodies have acknowledged the project, with the corporation a finalist in the Victorian Engineering Excellence Awards and Civil Contractors Federation Earth Awards.

Mr Lowrey said the recognition reflected the significant amount of work undertaken to minimise any environmental impacts during construction.

"The pipeline was laid through a volcanic plains bioregion containing patches of Commonwealth and State-listed threatened species and communities.

"Barwon Water carried out extensive flora, fauna and cultural heritage investigations before beginning work and selected construction techniques to minimise potential impacts."

Mr Lowrey 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 added.

The project was delivered by the Barwon Water Alliance, project manager and construction company John Holland and design and engineering specialists GHD.